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O.M., F.R.S., F.B.A 


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"Nee indigeste tamquam in acervum congessimus digna 
mem&ratu: sed variorum rerum disparttitas, auctoribus diver sa 
confusa temper ibus t ita in quoddam digesta corpus est, ut quae 
indistincte atque pramiscue ad subsidium memoriae 
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emvemrent. Nee mihi vitio vertas, si res quas ex lectione varia 
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smt explicabo, quia praesens opus non eloquentiae ostentationem 
$ed ftoscemhrum congeriempollicetur: et boni consulas oportet, 
si notitiam vetustatis modo nostris non obscure modo ipsis 
aKiiqitorum fideliter verbis recognoscas, prout quaeque se vel 
mammda vtt tramferenda suggesserint. Apes enim quodammodo 
debemus imitari, quae vaguntur et flares carpunt, deinde quicquid 
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saporem mixtura qwdam et proprietate spiritus sui mutant." 

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OSIRIS . . . Pp. 1-218 

Osiris the Egyptian counterpart of Adonis and Attis, 3 ; his myth, 3 sqq* ; the 
Pyramid Texts, 4-6 ; Osiris a son of the earth-god and the sky-goddess, 
6 ; marries his sister Isis, 7 ; introduces the cultivation of corn and of the 
vine, 7 ; his violent death, 7 $q. ; Isis searches for his body and takes 
refuge in the swamps, 8 ; she conceives Horus the younger by the dead 
Osiris, 8 j the body of Osiris floats to Byblus and is there found by Isis, 
9 sg. ; the body rent in pieces by Set or Typhon but recovered and buried 
by Isis, 10 sq.' y the members of Osiris treasured as relics in different 
places, II sy. ; laments of the sisters Isis and Nephthys for Osiris, 13; 
being brought to life Osiris reigns as king and judge of the dead in the 
other world, 12 sq. ; the confession of the dead, 13 sg. ; the fate of the 
wicked, 14 ; the resurrection of Osiris regarded by the Egyptians as a 
pledge of their own immortality, 15 sq. ; contests between Set and 
Horus, the brother and son of Osiris, for the crown of Egypt, 16-18; 
Busiris and Abydos the chief seats of the worship of Osiris, 18 ; the tomb 
of Osiris at Abydos, 1 8 sq. ; identified with the tomb of King Khent, 
19 sq. ; the sculptured effigy of Osiris, 20 j?. ; the hawk crest, 21 sq. ; 
the association of Osiris with Byblus, 22 sq. 


CALENDAR ...... Pp. 24-29 

The date of a festival sometimes a clue to the nature of the god, 24 ; the year of 
the Egyptian calendar a vague or movable one, 24 sq. ; divorce of the 
official calendar from the natural calendar of the seasons, 25 s?. ; attempt 
of Ptolemy III. to reform the calendar by intercalation, 26 sq. ; the fixed 
Alexandrian year instituted by the Romans, 27-29. 



EGYPTIAN FARMER . . . . Pp. 30-48 

I. The Rise and Fall of the Nile, pp. 30-32. In Egypt the operations oJ 
husbandry dependent on the annual rise and fall of the Nile, 30 so. 
irrigation, sowing, and harvest in Egypt, 30 sq. ; events of the agricultural 
year probably celebrated with religious rites, 32. 

2. Rites of Irrigation, pp. 33-40. Mourning for Osiris at midsummer when 
the Nile begins to rise, 33 sq. ; simultaneous rise of Sirius, 34 ; Sirius 
regarded as the star of Isis, 34 sq. ; its rising marked the beginning of 
the sacred Egyptian year, 35 sq. ; importance of the observation of its 
gradual displacement in the civil calendar, 36 sq. ; ceremonies observed 
in Egypt and other parts of Africa at the cutting of the dams, 37-40. 

3. Rites of Sowing, pp. 40-45. The sowing of the seed in November, 40 ; 
Plutarch on the mournful character of the rites of sowing, 40-42 ; his 
view that the worship of the fruits of the earth sprang from a verbal 
misunderstanding, 42 sq, ; his theory an inversion of the truth, 43 ; 
respect shown by savages for the fruits and animals which they eat 
43 sq. ; lamentations at sowing, 45. 

4. Rites of Harvest, pp. 45-48. Lamentations of the Egyptian corn-reapers, 
45 sq. ; similar ceremonies observed by the Cherokee Indians in the 
cultivation of the corn, 46 sq. j lamentations of Californian Indians at 
cutting sacred wood, 47 sq. ; Arab ceremony of burying " the old man " 
at harvest, 


OSIRIS Pp. 49 _ 95 

1. The Festival at Sats, pp. 49-51. The Egyptian festivals stationary in the 
solar year after the adoption of the Alexandrian calendar in 30 B.C., 
49 sq. ; the sufferings of Osiris displayed as a mystery at Sais, 50 ; the 
illumination of the houses on that night suggestive of a Feast of All 
Souls, 50 sq. 

\ 2. Feasts of All Souls, pp. 51-83. Annual festivals of the dead among the 
natives of America, the East Indies, India, Eastern and Western Asia, 
and Africa, 51-66 ; annual festivals of the dead among peoples of the 
Aryan family, 67 sqq. ; annual festival of the dead among the old 
Iranians, 67 sq. ; annual festivals of the dead in Europe, 69-80 ; trans- 
ported to the New World, So sq. ; the Feast of All Souls on 2nd 
November apparently an old Celtic festival of the dead, 8 1 sq. ; similar 
origin suggested for the Feast of All Saints on 1st November, 82 sy. 


3. The Festival the Month of Athyr, pp. 84-86. Festival of the death and 
resurrection of Osiris in the month of Athyr, 84 sq. ; the finding of 
Osiris, 85 sq. 

4. The Festival in the Month of Khoiak, pp. 86-88 __ The great Osirian 
inscription at Denderah, 86; the death, dismemberment, and recon- 
stitution of Osiris represented at the festival of Khoiak, 87 sq. 

5. The Resurrection of Osiris, pp. 89-91. The resurrection of Osiris 
represented on the monuments, 89 sq. ; corn-stuffed effigies of Osiris 
buried with the dead to ensure their resurrection, 90 

6, Readjustment of Egyptian Festivals* pp. 91-95 The festivals of Osiris 
in the months of Athyr and Khoiak apparently the same in substance, 
91 sq. ; the festival of Khoiak perhaps transferred to Athyr when the 
Egyptians adopted the fixed Alexandrian year, 92 sq. ; at the same time 
the dates of all the official Egyptian festivals perhaps shifted by about 
a month in order to restore them to their natural places in the solar 
year, 93-95. 


I, Osiris a Corn-God, pp. 96-107. Osiris in one of his aspects a personification 
of the corn, 97 sq. ; the legend of his dismemberment perhaps a reminis- 
cence of a custom of dismembering human victims, especially kings, in 
the character of the corn-spirit, 97 sq. j Roman and Greek traditions 
of the dismemberment of kings and others, 98 sq. ; modern Thracian 
custom, 99 sq. ; dismemberment of the Norse King Halfdan the 
Black, 100 ; dismemberment of Segera, a magician of Kiwai, 101 ; 
custom of dismembering a king and burying the pieces in different places, 
101 sq. ; fertilizing virtue of genital member, 102 sq. ; precautions after- 
wards taken to preserve the bodies of kings from mutilation, 103 5 graves 
of kings and chiefs kept secret to prevent the mutilation of their bodies, 
104 sq. ; Koniag custom of dismembering whalers, 106 5 red-haired 
Egyptian victims perhaps representatives of the corn-spirit, 106 sq. 

S 2. Osiris a Tree-Spirit^ pp. 107-112. Osiris as a tree-spirit, 107 sq. ; his 
image enclosed in a pine-tree, 108; the setting up of the ded pillar at 
the festival of Osiris, 108 sq. ; Osiris associated with the pine, the 
sycamore, the tamarisk, and the acacia, no sq. ; his relation to fruit- 
trees, the vine, and ivy, ill sq. 

3. Osiris a God of Fertility, pp. 112-113 Osiris perhaps conceived as a 
god of fertility in general, 112 5 coarse symbolism to express this idea, 

5 4. Osiris a God of the Dead, pp. 113-114. Osiris a god of the resurrection as 
well as of the corn, 113 sq. ; great popularity of his worship, 1 14. 


CHAPTER VI. Isis . . . . Pp. 115-119 

Multifarious attributes of Isis, 115^. ; Isis compared and contrasted with the 
mother goddesses of Asia, 116; Isis perhaps originally a corn -goddess, 
1 1 6 sq. ; refinement and spiritualization of Isis in later times, the popu- 
larity of her worship in the Roman Empire, 117 sf.; resemblance of 
Isis to the Madonna, 118 sq. 


Osiris interpreted as the sun by many modern writers, 120 sqq< ; the later 
identification of Osiris with Ra, the sun-god, no evidence that Osiris 
was originally the sun, 120 sg, ; most Egyptian gods at some time 
identified with the sun, 123 ; attempt of Amenophis IV. to abolish 
all gods except the sun-god, 123-125 ; the death and resurrection of 
Osiris more naturally explained by the decay and growth of vegetation 
than by sunset and sunrise, 125-128. 


Osiris sometimes interpreted by the ancients as the moon, 129 ; evidence of the 
association of Osiris with the moon, 129-131 ; identification of Osiris 
with the moon apparently based on a comparatively late theory of the 
moon as the cause of growth and decay, 131 sq. ; practical rules founded 
on this theory, 132-137 ; the moon regarded as the source of moisture, 
137 sq. ; the moon naturally worshipped by agricultural peoples, 
later identification of the corn-god Osiris with the moon, 139. 


SYMPATHY Pp. 140-150 

The doctrine of lunar sympathy, 140 sq. j ceremonies at new moon often magical 
rather than religious, being intended not so much to propitiate the planet 
as to renew sympathetically the life of man, 140 sq* \ the moon supposed 
to exercise special influence on children, 144 sqq. ; Baganda ceremonies 
at the new moon, 147 sq. ; use of the moon to increase money or decrease 
sickness, 148-150. 

CHAPTER X. THE KING AS OSIRIS . Pp. i s i - r 5 7 

Osiris personated by the King of Egypt, 151 ; the Sed festival intended to 
renew the king's life, 151 sqq. ; identification of the king with the dead 
Osiris at the festival, 153 sq. ; Professor Flinders Petrie's explanation of 
the Sed festival, 154 sq. ; similar explanation suggested by M. Alexandrc 
Moret, 155 sqq. 



Origin of the conception of Osiris as a god of vegetation and the dead, 158; 
Osiris distinguished from the kindred deities Adonis and Attis by the 
dominant position he occupied in Egyptian religion, 158; all great and 
lasting religions founded by great men, 159 sq. ; the historical reality of 
Osiris as an old king of Egypt supported by African analogies, 1 60 sq. ; 
dead kings worshipped by the Shilluks of the White Nile, 161-167 ; dead 
kings worshipped by the Baganda of Central Africa, 167-173 ; dead kings 
worshipped in Kiziba, 173 sg, ; ancestral spirits worshipped by the Bantu 
tribes of Northern Rhodesia, 174-176; the worship of ancestral spirits 
apparently the main practical religion of all the Bantu tribes of Africa, 
176-191 ; dead chiefs or kings worshipped by the Bantu tribes of Northern 
Rhodesia, 191-193 ; dead kings worshipped by the Barotse of the Zambesi, 
193-195 ; the worship of dead kings an important element in the religion 
of many African tribes, 195 sq. ; some African gods, who are now dis- 
tinguished from ghosts, may have been originally dead men, 196 sq. ; 
possibility that Osiris and Isis may have been a real king and queen of 
Egypt, perhaps identical with King Khent of the first dynasty and his 
queen, 197-199 ; suggested parallel between Osiris and Charlemagne, 
199 ; the question of the historical reality of Osiris left open, 199 sq. 


GODDESSES Pp. 201-218 

I. Dying Gods and Mourning Goddesses, pp. 201-202. Substantial similarity 
of Adonis, Attis, and Osiris, 200 ; superiority of the goddesses associated 
with Adonis, Attis, and Osiris a mark of the system of mother-kin, 201 sq. 

2. Influence of Mother- Kin on Religion^ pp. 202-212. Mother-kin and father- 
kin, 202 ; mother-kin and goddesses predominant among the Khasis, 
202-204 ; mother-kin and clan goddesses predominant among the Pelew 
Islanders, 204 sqq. ; in the Pelew Islands the importance of women based 
partly on mother-kin, partly on economic and religious grounds, 205-208 ; 
parallel between the Pelew Islands and the ancient East, 208 ; mother- 
kin not mother-rule, 208 sq. ; even with mother-kin the government in 
the hands of men, not of women, 209-211 ; gynaecocracy a dream but 
mother-kin a fact, 211 sq. ; influence of this fact on religion, 212. 

3. Mother-Kin and Mother Goddesses in the Ancient East, pp. 212-218. 
Mother-kin in Western Asia, 212 sq. ; mother-kin in Egypt, 213 sq* ; 
Egyptian marriages of brothers and sisters based on the system of mother- 
kin, 214 sqq. ; the traditional marriage of Osiris with his sister Isis a 
reflection of a real social custom, 216; the end of Osiris, 216 sq. ; con- 
servatism of the Egyptians, 2 17 ;?. ; original type of Osiris better preserved 
than those of Adonis and Attis, 218. 


NOTES ....... Pp. 219-268 

I. MOLOCH THE KING . . .Pp. 219-226 

II. THE WIDOWED FLAMEN . . Pp. 227-248 

I. The Pollution of Death . Pp. 227-230 

2. The Marriage of the Roman Gods . . Pp. 230-236 

3. Children of Living Parents in Ritual . Pp. 236-248 



ISLANDERS ..... Pp. 253-268 

i. Pritsts dressed as Women . . * Pp. 253-264 

2. Prostitution of Unmarried Girls , . Pp. 264-266 

3. Custom of slaying Chiefs . , Pp. 266-268 

INDEX ....... Pp. 269-321 





IN ancient Egypt the god whose death and resurrection were Osiris the 
annually celebrated with alternate sorrow and joy was f^^ 
Osiris, the most popular of all Egyptian deities ; and there part of 
are good grounds for classing him in one of his aspects with 

Adonis and Attis as a personification of the great yearly 
vicissitudes of nature, especially of the corn. But the immense 
vogue which he enjoyed for many ages induced his devoted 
worshippers to heap upon him the attributes and powers 
of many other gods ; so that it is. not always easy to strip 
him, so to say, of his borrowed plumes and to restore them 
to their proper owners. In the following pages I do not 
pretend to enumerate and analyse all the alien elements 
which thus gathered round the popular deity. All that I 
shall attempt to do is to peel off these accretions and to 
exhibit the god, as far as possible, in his primitive simplicity. 
The discoveries of recent years in Egypt enable us to do so 
with more confidence now than when I first addressed myself 
to the problem many years ago. 

The story of Osiris is told in a connected form only The myth 
by Plutarch, whose narrative has been confirmed and of O*- 
to some extent amplified in modern times by the evidence 
of the monuments. 1 Of the monuments which illustrate 

1 See Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, (Berlin, 1909), pp. 38 sqq. ; A. 

12-20 ; R. V. Lanzone, Dixionario di Wiedemann, Die Religion der alien 

Mitologia Eginia (Turin, 1881-1884), Agypter (Milnster i. W. 1890), pp. 

vol. ii. pp. 692 sqq.\ A. Erman, 1091^.; , Religion of the Ancient 

Aegypten und aegyptisckes Leben im Egyptians (London, 1897), pp. 207 

AlUrtum (Tttbingen, N.D.), pp. 365- s$q*\ G. Maspero, Histoirt andenne 

3*95 &, Die agyftiscke Religion* des Peupbs de P Orient Classique, i. 172 







the myth or legend of Osiris the oldest are a long 
series of hymns, prayers, incantations, and liturgies, which 
have been found engraved in hieroglyphics on the walls, 
passages, and galleries of five pyramids at Sakkara. From 
the place where they were discovered these ancient re- 
ligious records are known as the Pyramid Texts. They 
date from the fifth and sixth dynasties, and the period 
of time during which they were carved on the pyramids 
is believed to have been roughly a hundred and fifty 
years from about the year 2625 B.C. onward. But from 
their contents it appears that many of these documents 
were drawn up much earlier; for in some of them there 
are references to works which have perished, and in others 
there are political allusions which seem to show that the 
passages containing them must have been composed at 
a time when the Northern and Southern Kingdoms 
were still independent and hostile states and had not yet 
coalesced into a single realm under the sway of one power- 
ful monarch. As the union of the kingdoms appears 
to have taken place about three thousand four hundred 
years before our era, the whole period covered by the com- 
position of the Pyramid Texts probably did not fall short of 
a thousand years. Thus the documents form the oldest 
body of religious literature surviving to us from the ancient 
world, and occupy a place in the history of Egyptian Ian- 
page and civilization like that which the Vedic hymns and 
incantations occupy in the history of Aryan speech and 
culture. 1 

The special purpose for which these texts were engraved 
on the pyramids was to ensure the eternal life and felicity 
intended of the dead kings who slept beneath these colossal monu- 

to ensure 

: E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods 
of the Egyptians (London, 1904), ii. 
123 j^.; id., Osiris and the Egyptian 
Resurrection (London, 1911), i. \ sqq. 
1 J. H. Breasted, Development of 
Religion and Thought in Ancient 
Egypt (London, 1912), pp. viL sy. t 77 
J??.,$4 sqq. , 9 1 sqq. Compare id. , His- 
tory of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 
1908), p. 68 ; Ed. Meyer, Geschichte des 
Altertums* L 2. pp. 116 j?.; E. A. 

Wallis Budge, Osiris and the Egyptian 
Resurrection (London, 1911), i. JQO 
sqq. The first series of the texts was 
discovered in 1880 when Mariette's 
workmen penetrated into the pyramid 
of King Pepi the First. Till then it 
had been thought by modern scholars 
that the pyramids were destitute of 
inscriptions. The first to edit the 
Pyramid Texts was Sir Gaston Mas- 


merits. Hence the dominant note that sounds through the blissful 
them all is an insistent, a passionate protest against the {^JSnof 
reality of death : indeed the word death never occurs in the Egyptian 
Pyramid Texts except to be scornfully denied or to be mgs * 
applied to an enemy. Again and again the indomitable 
assurance is repeated that the dead man did not die but 
lives. "King Teti has not died the death, he has become 
a glorious one in the horizon." " Ho ! King Unis ! Thou 
didst not depart dead, thou didst depart living." "Thou 
hast departed that thou mightest live, thou hast not de- 
parted that thou mightest die." " Thou diest not." " This 
King Pepi dies not." " Have ye said that he would die ? 
He dies not ; this King Pepi lives for ever." " Live ! Thou 
shalt not die." " Thou livest, thou livest, raise thee up." 
" Thou diest not, stand up, raise thee up." " O lofty one 
among the Imperishable Stars, thou perishest not etern- 
ally." 1 Thus for Egyptian kings death was swallowed up 
in victory ; and through their tears Egyptian mourners 
might ask, like Christian mourners thousands of years after- 
wards, " O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is 
thy victory ? " 

Now it is significant that in these ancient documents, The 
though the myth or legend of Osiris is not set forth at o^ * 
length, it is often alluded to as if it were a matter of com- in the 
mon knowledge. Hence we may legitimately infer the 
great antiquity of the Osirian tradition in Egypt Indeed 
so numerous are the allusions to it in the Pyramid Texts 
that by their help we could reconstruct the story in its main 
outlines even without the narrative of Plutarch. 2 Thus the 
discovery of these texts has confirmed our belief in the 
accuracy and fidelity of the Greek writer, and we may 
accept his account with confidence even when it records 
incidents or details which have not yet been verified by a 

1 J. H. Breasted, Development of works would seem to have recorded a 

Religion and Thought in Ancient belief in the resurrection and ascension 

Egypt* pp. 91 s$. Among the earlier of the dead, 
works referred to in the Pyramid Texts 

are "the chapter of those who ascend " 2 This has been done bv Professor 

and " the chapter of those who raise J. H. Breasted in his Development of 

themselves up" (J. H. Breasted, op* Religion and Thought in Ancient 

tit* p. 85). From their titles these Egypt ', pp. 18 sqq. 




comparison with original Egyptian sources. The tragic 
tale runs thus : 

Osiris a Osiris was the offspring of an intrigue between the 

earth* od earth-god Seb (Keb or Geb, as the name is sometimes trans- 
and the Hterated) and the sky-goddess Nut. The Greeks identified 
sky " his parents with their own deities Cronus and Rhea. When 

the sun -god Ra perceived that his wife Nut had been un- 
faithful to him, he declared with a curse that she should be 
delivered of the child in no month and no year. But the 
goddess had another lover, the god Thoth or Hermes, as the 
Greeks called him, and he playing at draughts with the 
moon won from her a seventy-second part 1 of every day, 
and having compounded five whole days out of these parts 
he added them to the Egyptian year of three hundred and 
sixty days. This was the mythical origin of the five supple- 
mentary days which the Egyptians annually inserted at the 
end of every year in order to establish a harmony between 
lunar and solar time. 2 On these five days, regarded as 
outside the year of twelve months, the curse of the sun-god 
did not rest, and accordingly Osiris was born on the first of 
them. At his nativity a voice rang out proclaiming that the 
Lord of All had come into the world. Some say that a 
certain Pamyles heard a voice from the temple at Thebes 
bidding him announce with a shout that a great king, the 
beneficent Osiris, was born. But Osiris was not the only 
child of his mother. On the second of the supplementary 
days she gave birth to the elder Horus, on the third to the 
god Set, whom the Greeks called Typhon, on the fourth to 
the goddess Isis, and on the fifth to the goddess Nephthys. 8 


1 In Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 12, we 
must clearly read ^SofjarfKOffrbv Setirepov 
with Scaliger and Wyttenbach for the 
^85o/w;Ko<rr6i> of the MSS. 

- Herodotus, it 4, with A. Wiede- 
mann's note ; L. Ideler, Handbuch der 
mathematischcn undUchnischenChrono- 
kgie (Berlin, 1825-1826), i. 94 sqq. ; 
A. Erman, AtgypUn and aegyptisckes 
Leben im Altertum^ pp. 468 sq. ; G. 
Maspero, Histoire ancienne des Peuples 
de F Orient Classique^ i, 208 sq 

3 The birth of the five deities on the 
five supplementary days is mentioned 

by Diodorus Siculus (i. 13. 4) as well 
as by Plutarch (Isis et Osiris^ 12). 
The memory of the five supplementary 
days seems to survive in the modern 
Coptic calendar of Egypt. The days 
from the first to the sixth of Amshir 
(February) are called " the days outside 
the year" and they are deemed un- 
lucky. "Any child begotten during 
these days will infallibly be misshapen 
or abnormally tall or short. This also 
applies to animals so that cattle and 
mares are not covered during these 
days ; moreover, some say (though 



Afterwards Set married his sister Nephthys, and Osiris 
married his sister Isis. 

Reigning as a king on earth, Osiris reclaimed the psirfs 
Egyptians from savagery, gave them laws, and taught them | e rodllccs 
to worship the gods. Before his time the Egyptians had cultivation 
been cannibals. But Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, f th<Tvfne! 
discovered wheat and barley growing wild, and Osiris intro- 
duced the cultivation of these grains amongst his people, 
who forthwith abandoned cannibalism and took kindly to a 
corn diet. Moreover, Osiris is said to have been the first 
to gather fruit from trees, to train the vine to poles, and to 
tread the grapes. Eager to communicate these beneficent 
discoveries to all mankind, he committed the whole govern- 
ment of Egypt to his wife Isis, and travelled over the world, 
diffusing the blessings of civilization and agriculture wherever 
he went. In countries where a harsh climate or niggardly 
soil forbade the cultivation of the vine, he taught the in- 
habitants to console themselves for the want of wine by 
brewing beer from barley. Loaded with the wealth that had 
been showered upon him by grateful nations, he returned to 
Egypt, and on account of the benefits he had conferred on 
mankind he was unanimously hailed and worshipped as a 
deity. 1 But his brother Set (whom the Greeks called 
Typhon) with seventy - two others plotted against him. His violent 
Having taken the measure of his good brother's body by death< 
stealth, the bad brother Typhon fashioned and highly decor- 
ated a coffer of the same size, and once when they were all 
drinking and making merry he brought in the coffer and 
jestingly promised to give it to the one whom it should fit 
exactly. Well, they all tried one after the other, but it fitted 
none of them. Last of all Osiris stepped into it and lay down. 
On that the conspirators ran and slammed the lid down on 
him, nailed it fast, soldered it with molten lead, and flung the 

others deny) that neither sowing nor 
planting should be undertaken. " How- 
ever, these unlucky days are not the 
true intercalary days of the Coptic 
calendar, which occur in the second 
week of September at the end of the 
Coptic year. See C. G. Seligmann, 
"Ancient Egyptian Beliefs in Modern 


Egypt, Essays and Studies presented to 
William Rid&way (Cambridge, 1913), 
p. 456. As to the unluckiness of 
intercalary days in general, see Tfo 
Scapegoat, pp. 339 sqq. 

1 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 13 ; Dio* 
donis Siculus, i. 14, 17, 20; Tibullus, 
i 7* 29 


coffer into the Nile. This happened on the seventeenth day 

of the month Athyr, when the sun is in the sign of the 

Scorpion, and in the eight-and-twentieth year of the reign or 

Isis the life of Osiris. When Isis heard of it she sheared ofi 

searches a j^jj. o f fa r fa[^ p ut on mO uming attire, and wandered 

body. disconsolately up and down, seeking the body. 1 
She takes By the advice of the god of wisdom she took refuge 

[rfthe * n *ke P a Py rus swamps of the Delta. Seven scorpions 

papyrus accompanied her in her flight. One evening when she 

swamps. was wearv gke came to the house of a woman, who, 

alarmed at the sight of the scorpions, shut the door in her 

face. Then one of the scorpions crept under the door and 

stung the child of the woman that he died. But when Isis 

heard the mother's lamentation, her heart was touched, and 

she laid her hands on the child and uttered her powerful 

spells ; so the poison was driven out of the child and he 

Isis and lived. Afterwards Isis herself gave birth to a son in the 

ra Haras. swam P s - She had conceived him while she fluttered in the 

form of a hawk over the corpse of her dead husband. The 

infant was the younger Horus, who in his youth bore the 

name of Harpocrates, that is, the child Horus. Him Buto, 

the goddess of the north, hid from the wrath of his wicked 

uncle Set. Yet she could not guard him from all mishap ; 

for one day when Isis came to her little son's hiding-place 

she found him stretched lifeless and rigid on the ground t a 

scorpion had stung him. Then Isis prayed to the sun-god 

Ra for help. The god hearkened to her and staid his bark 

in the sky r and sent down Thoth to teach her the spell by 

which she might restore her son to life. She uttered the 

words of power, and straightway the poison flowed from 

the body of Horus, air passed into him, and he lived. Then 

Thoth ascended up into the sky and took his place once 

more in the bark of the sun, and the bright pomp passed 

onward jubilant 2 

* Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 13 sq. ii. 206-211 ; id., Osiris and the Egyptian 

Erman, Aegypten und aegyp- Resurrection (London, 1911), i. 92-96, 

tisthes Leben im Altertum, p. 366; ii. 84, 274-276. These incidents' of 

id., Die agyptische Religion* (Berlin, the scorpions are not related by Plutarch 

I 99)i P* 49* A - Wiedemann, Religion but are known to us from Egyptian 

if ike Ancient Egyptians (London, sources. The barbarous legend of the 

lS97} PP- 213 *?; E. A. Waffls Budge, begetting of Horus by the dead Osiris 

The Gods of tke Egyptians, i. 487 sf. t is told in unambiguous language in the 



Meantime the coffer containing the body of Osiris had Tte^dJ 
floated down the river and away out to sea, till at last it 

drifted ashore at Byblus, on the coast of Syria. Here a fine B y blus ; . 

where it n 

erica-tree shot up suddenly and enclosed the chest in its recovered 
trunk. The king of the country, admiring the growth of 
the tree, had it cut down and made into a pillar of his 
house ; but he did not know that the coffer with the dead 
Osiris was in it Word of this came to Isis and she 
journeyed to Byblus, and sat down by the well, in humble 
guise, her face wet with tears. To none would she speak 
till the king's handmaidens came, and them she greeted 
kindly, and braided their hair, and breathed on them from 
her own divine body a wondrous perfume. But when the 
queen beheld the braids of her handmaidens' hair and smelt 
the sweet smell that emanated from them, she sent for the 
stranger woman and took her into her house and made her 
the nurse of her child. But Isis gave the babe her finger 
instead of her breast to suck, and at night she began to burn 
all that was mortal of him away, while she herself in the 
likeness of a swallow fluttered round the pillar that con- 
tained her dead brother, twittering mournfully. But the 
queen spied what sh$ was doing and shrieked out when she 
saw her child in flames, and thereby she hindered him from 
becoming immortal. Then the goddess revealed herself 
and begged for the pillar of the roof, and they gave it her, 
and she cut the coffer out of it, and fell upon it and em- 
braced it and lamented so loud that the younger of the king's 
children died of fright on the spot. But the trunk of the tree 
she wrapped in fine linen, and poured ointment on it, and gave 
it to the king and queen, and the wood stands in a temple of 

Pyramid Texts, and it is illustrated by 
a monument which represents the two 
sister goddesses hovering in the like- 
ness of hawks over the god, while 
Hathor sits at his head and the Frog- 
goddess Heqet squats in the form of a 
hugefrog at his feet. See J. H. Breasted, 
Development of Religion and Thought 
in Ancient Egypt, p. 28, with note 2 ; 
E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and 
the Egyptian Resurrection, i. 280. 
Harpocrates is in Egyptian Her-pe- 
ikred, Horns the child (A. Wiede- 

mann, Religionof the Ancient Egyptians 9 
p. 223). Plutarch, who appears to 
distinguish him from Horus, says that 
Harpocrates was begotten by the dead 
Osiris on Isis, and that he was born 
untimely and was weak in his lower 
limbs (his et Osiris, 10). Elsewhere 
he tells us that Harpocrates "was 
born, incomplete and youthful, about 
the winter solstice along with the early 
flowers and blossoms" (Jsis et Osiris, 





body of 
Osiris dis- 
and the 
by Isis. 

Siculus on 
the burial 
of Osiris. 

Isis and is worshipped by the people of Byblus to this day. 
And Isis put the coffer in a boat and took the eldest of 
the king's children with her and sailed away. As soon as 
they were alone, she opened the chest, and laying her face 
on the face of her brother she kissed him and wept. But the 
child came behind her softly and saw what she was about, 
and she turned and looked at him in anger, and the child 
could not bear her look and died ; but some say that it was 
not so, but that he fell into the sea and was drowned. It is 
he whom the Egyptians sing of at their banquets under the 
name of Maneros. But Isis put the coffer by and went to 
see her son Horus at the city of Buto, and Typhon found 
the coffer as he was hunting a boar one night by the light of a 
full moon. 1 And he knew the body, and rent it into fourteen 
pieces, and scattered them abroad. But Isis sailed up and 
down the marshes in a shallop made of papyrus, looking for 
the pieces ; and that is why when people sail in shallops 
made of papyrus, the crocodiles do not hurt them, for they 
fear or respect the goddess. And that is the reason, too, 
why there are many graves of Osiris in Egypt, for she buried 
each limb as she found it But others will have it that she 
buried an image of him in every city, pretending it was his 
body, in order that Osiris might be worshipped in many 
places, and that if Typhon searched for the real grave he 
might not be able to find it 2 However, the genital member 
of Osiris had been eaten by the fishes, so Isis made an image 
of it instead, and the image is used by the Egyptians 
at their festivals to this day. 8 " Isis," writes the historian 
Diodorus Siculus, " recovered all the parts of the body except 
the genitals ; and because she wished that her husband's 
grave should be unknown and honoured by all who dwell in 
the land of Egypt, she resorted to the following device. 
She moulded human images out of wax and spices, cor- 
responding to the stature of Osiris, round each one of 
the parts of his body. Then she called in the priests 
according to their families and took an oath of them all that 

Plutarch, Isis et Ostris, 8, 18. 

Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 1 8. 

1 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 18. Com- 

pare Hippolytus, Refittatio omnium 
haeresium, v. 7, p. 142, ed. L. Duncker 
and F. G. Schneidewin (Gottingen, 




they would reveal to no man the trust she was about to re* 
pose in them. So to each of them privately she said that 
to them alone she entrusted the burial of the body, and re- 
minding them of the benefits they had received she exhorted 
them to bury the body in their own land and to honour 
Osiris as a god. She also besought them to dedicate one of 
the animals of their country, whichever they chose, and to 
honour it in life as they had formerly honoured Osiris, and 
when it died to grant it obsequies like his. And because she 
would encourage the priests in their own interest to bestow 
the aforesaid honours, she gave them a third part of the land 
to be used by them in the service and worship of the gods. 
Accordingly it is said that the priests, mindful of the benefits 
of Osiris, desirous of gratifying the queen, and moved by the 
prospect of gain, carried out all the injunctions of Isis. 
Wherefore to this day each of the priests imagines that 
Osiris is buried in his country, and they honour the beasts 
that were consecrated in the beginning, and when the 
animals die the priests renew at their burial the mourning 
for Osiris. But the sacred bulls, the one called Apis and 
the other Mnevis, were dedicated to Osiris, and it was 
ordained that they should be worshipped as gods in common 
by all the Egyptians ; since these animals above all others 
had helped the discoverers of corn in sowing the seed 
and procuring the universal benefits of agriculture." * 

Such is the myth or legend of Osiris, as told by Greek The 
writers and eked out by more or less fragmentary notices or 
allusions in native Egyptian literature. A long inscription of Osiris 
in the temple at Denderah has preserved a list of the god's ^rdfics 
graves, and other texts mention the parts of his body which various 
were treasured as holy relics in each of the sanctuaries. Egypt? 
Thus his heart was at Athribis, his backbone at Busiris, his 
neck at Letopolis, and his head at Memphis. As often 
happens in such cases, some of his divine limbs were miracu- 
lously multiplied His head, for example, was at Abydos as 
well as at Memphis, and his legs, which were remarkably 
numerous, would have sufficed for several ordinary mortals. 2 

1 Diodorus Siculus, i. 21. 5-11 ; 2 H. Brugsch, "Das Osiris-Mys- 
compare *, iv. 6. 3 ; Strabo, ml i. terium von Tentyra," Zeitsckrijt fiir 
23, p. 803. agyptische Sprache und Alttrthums- 





In this respect, however, Osiris was nothing to St Denys, 
of whom no less than seven heads, all equally genuine, are 
extant. 1 

Osiris According to native Egyptian accounts, which supple- 

b^isSTand ment ^at ^ Pl utarc h when Isis had found the corpse of 
Nephthys. her husband Osiris, she and her sister Nephthys sat down 
beside it and uttered a lament which in after ages became 
the type of all Egyptian lamentations for the dead. " Come 
to thy house," they wailed, " Come to thy house. O god 
On ! come to thy house, thou who hast no foes. O fair 
youth, come to thy house, that thou mayest see me. I am 
thy sister, whom thou lovest ; thou shalt not part from me. 
O fair boy, come to thy house. ... I see thee not, yet doth 
my heart yearn after thee and mine eyes desire thee. Come 
to her who loves thee, who loves thee, Unnefer, thou blessed 
one ! Come to thy sister, come to thy wife, to thy wife, 
thou whose heart stands still. Come to thy housewife. I 
am thy sister by the same mother, thou shalt not be far from 
me. Gods and men have turned their faces towards thee 
and weep for thee together. ... I call after thee and weep, 
so that my cry is heard to heaven, but thou hearest not my 
voice ; yet am I thy sister, whom thou didst love on earth ; 
thou didst love none but me, my brother ! my brother 1 * * 
This lament for the fair youth cut off in his prime reminds 
us of the laments for Adonis. The title of Unnefer or " the 
Good Being " bestowed on him marks the beneficence which 
tradition universally ascribed to Osiris ; it was at once his 
commonest title and one of his names as king. 8 
Being The lamentations of the two sad sisters were not in 

to life va * n - In pity for her sorrow the sun-god Ra sent down 
from heaven the jackal-headed god Anubis, who, with the 

kunde, xix. (1881) pp. 77 sqq. ; V, 
Loret, " Les fStes d'Osiris au mois de 
Khoiak," Recueil de Trwaux relaiif* 

*Ll- ******. *. a ? h f * &* 
Egypttennes 'tAss^ennes, n. (188?) 

pp. 43 sqq. ; R. V. Lanzone, Dizio- 
narut di Mitokgia Egizia, pp. 697 
sqq. ; A. Wiedemann, fftrodots swates 
Buck (Leipsic, 1890), pp. 584 sqq. ; 
t, Die Religion der alten Agypter, 
p. 115 ; id., Religion of the Ancient 
Egyptians, pp. 215 sqq. ; A. Erman, 

Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im 
Altertum, pp. 367 sq. 

i j. Rendel Ha rris, The Annotate* 
cfthe Codex Bezae (London, 1901), p. 

104, note , referring to Du aure. ? 
7 ' ' f . 

A - Erma n, Die agyptisclu Reh~ 

P ** ( Berli n, 1909), pp. 39 *- i E- 
A - Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 
Egypt* Resurrection^ iL 59 sqq. 

A. Wiedemann, Religion of tht 
Ancient Egyptians, p. 2 1 1. 


aid of Isis and Nephthys, of Thoth and Horns* pieced reigns as 
together the broken body of the murdered god, swathed it S|* "Jf 
in linen bandages, and observed all the other rites which the dead 
i-he Egyptians were wont to perform over the bodies of the 
departed. Then Isis fanned the cold clay with her wings : 
Osiris revived, and thenceforth reigned as king over the 
dead in the other world. 1 There he bore the titles of Lord 
of the Underworld, Lord of Eternity, Ruler of the Dead. 2 
There, too, in the great Hall of the Two Truths, assisted by 
forty-two assessors, one from each of the principal districts of 
Egypt, he presided as judge at the trial of the souls of the 
departed, who made their solemn confession before him, and, 
their heart having been weighed in the balance of justice, re- 
ceived the reward of virtue in a life eternal or the appropriate 
punishment of their sins. 8 The confession or rather profession The con- 
which the Book of the Dead puts in the mouth of the deceased 
at the judgment -bar of Osiris 4 sets the morality of the 
ancient Egyptians in a very favourable light In rendering 
an account of his life the deceased solemnly protested that he 
had not oppressed his fellow-men, that he had made none 
to weep, that he had done no murder, neither committed 
fornication nor borne false witness, that he had not falsified 
the balance, that he had not taken the milk from the mouths 
of babes, that he had given bread to the hungry and water 
to the thirsty, and had clothed the naked. In harmony 

1 A.Erman, Die agyptische Religion? the Egyptians, ii. 141 sqq. ; &, Osiris 

pp. 39 sq. ; G. Maspero, Histoire and the Egyptian Resurrection, i. 305 

ancienne des Peuples de f Orient sqq. ; A. Erman, Die agyptische Re- 

Classiqite, i. 176; E. A. Wallis ligion* pp. 116 sqq. 

Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. * The Book of the Dead> ch. cxxv. 

140, 262; id., Osiris and the Egyptian (vol. ii. pp. 355 sqq. of Budge's 

Resurrection^ i. 70-75, 80-82. On translation ; P. Pierret, Le Livre des 

Osiris as king of the dead see Plutarch, Morts, Paris, 1882, pp. 369 sqq.)i 

Isis et Osiris > 79. R. V. Lanzone, Dizionario di Mitohgia 

8 Miss Margaret A. Murray, The Egizia, pp. 788 sqq. ; A. Wiedemann, 

Osireion at Abydos (London, 1904), Die Religion der alien Agypter^ pp. 

pp. 8, 17, 18. 132-734; id., Religion of the Ancient 

* On Osiris as judge . of the dead Egyptians, pp. 249 sqq. ; G. Maspero, 

ace A. Wiedemann, Die Religion der Histoire ancienne des Peuples der Orient 

alten Agypter^ pp. 131 sqq.\ id. t Classigue, i. 188-191; A. Erman, 

Religion of the Ancient Egyptians y Die agyptische Religion? pp. 1 17-121 ; 

pp. 248 sqq. ; G. Maspero, Histoire E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 

ancienne des Peuples de P Orient Egyptian Resurrection^ i. 337 sqq+\ J. 

Classique, i. 187 sqq. ; E. A. Wallis H. Breasted, development of Religion 

Budge, The Book of the Dead* (London, and Thought in Ancient Egypt) pp. 

1909), i. pp. liu. sqq. ; , The Gods of 297 sqq. 


with these professions are the epitaphs on Eg/ptian graves, 
which reveal, if not the moral practice, at least the moral 
ideals of those who slept beneath them. Thus, for example, 
a man says in his epitaph : " I gave bread to the hungry 
and clothes to the naked, and ferried across in my own boat 
him who could not pass the water. I was a father to the 
orphan, a husband to the widow, a shelter from the wind to 
them that were cold. I am one that spake good and told 
good. I earned my substance in righteousness." 1 Those 
who had done thus in their mortal life and had been acquitted 
at the Great Assize, were believed to dwell thenceforth at 
ease in a land where the corn grew higher than on earth, 
where harvests never failed, where trees were always green, 
and wives for ever young and fair. 2 

The fate of We are not clearly informed as to the fate which the 

the wicked. Egvp t j ans supposed to befall the wicked after death. In 

the scenes which represent the Last Judgment there is seen 

crouching beside the scales, in which the heart of the 

dead is being weighed, a monstrous animal known as the 

" Eater of the Dead." It has the head of a crocodile, the 

trunk of a lion, and the hinder parts of a hippopotamus. 

Some think that the souls of those whose hearts had been 

weighed in the balance and found wanting were delivered 

over to this grim monster to be devoured ; but this view 

appears to be conjectural. " Generally the animal seems 

to have been placed there simply as guardian of the entrance 

to the Fields of the Blessed, but sometimes it is likened to 

Set Elsewhere it is said that the judges of the dead slay 

the wicked and drink their blood. In brief, here also we have 

conflicting statements, and can only gather that there seems to 

have been no general agreement among the dwellers in the 

Valley of the Nile as to the ultimate lot of the wicked." 8 

1 P^^rma&,DieagyptischeReligion* A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 

p. 121. Compare A. Wiedemann, Die Egyptian Resurrection^ L 97 sg. 9 100 

Religion der alien Agypter t pp. 134 sag.; E. LefSbure, " Le Paradis 

sy. ; /., Religion of the Ancient Egyptian," Sphinx, iii. (Upsala, 1900) 

Egyptians^ p. 253. pp. 191 sqq. 

3 A. Wiedemann, Religion of the B A. Wiedemann, Religion of the 

Ancient Egyptians^ p. 254 ; E. A. Ancient Egyptians, p. 249. Compare 

Wallis Budge, Osiris and the Egyptian A. Erman, Die agyptische Religion* 

Resurrection^ i. 305^.; G. Maspero, pp. 117,121; E. A. Wallis Budge, 

op. cit. i. 194 sq. ; A. Erman, Die Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection* 

Sgyptische Religion * pp. 121 sgq. ; E. i. 317, 328. 


In the resurrection of Osiris the Egyptians saw the in the 
pledge of a life everlasting for themselves beyond the grave. [^"7 C " 
They believed that every man would live eternally in the Osiris the 
other world if only his surviving friends did for his body fS7P tians 

* ScLAV A 

what the gods had done for the body of Osiris. Hence the pledge 

^^ *i* * 

ceremonies observed by the Egyptians over the human OT 

own im- 

dead were an exact copy of those which Anubis, Horus, mortality, 
and the rest had performed over the dead god. " At 
every burial there was enacted a representation of the 
divine mystery which had been performed of old over 
Osiris, when his son, his sisters, his friends were gathered 
round his mangled remains and succeeded by their spells 
and manipulations in converting his broken body into 
the first mummy, which they afterwards reanimated and 
furnished with the means of entering on a new individual 
life beyond the grave. The mummy of the deceased was 
Osiris ; the professional female mourners were his -two sisters 
Isis and Nephthys ; Anubis, Horus, all the gods of the 
Osirian legend gathered about the corpse." In this solemn 
drama of death and resurrection the principal part was 
played by the celebrant, who represented Horus the son of 
the dead and resuscitated Osiris. 1 He formally opened the 
eyes and mouth of the dead man by rubbing or pretending 
to rub them four times with the bleeding heart and thigh 
of a sacrificed bull ; after which a pretence was made of 
actually opening the mouth of the mummy or of the statue 
with certain instruments specially reserved for the purpose. 
Geese and gazelles were also sacrificed by being decapitated ; 
they were supposed to represent the enemies of Osiris, who 
after the murder of the divine man had sought to evade the 
righteous punishment of their crime but had been detected 
and beheaded. 2 

1 G. Maspero, "Le rituel du sacri- Egyptians t ii. 126, 140 sq. ; ?., Osiris 
fic< fune'raire," tudes de Mythologie and the Egyptian Resurrection^ i. 66 
et a? Archlologie gyptiennes (Paris, sqq. 9 IOI sq, y 176, 305, 399 sq. ; A. 
1893-1912), i. 291 sq. Moret, Du Caraetere religieux de la 

2 G. Maspero, op. cit* pp. 300-316. Royautl Pharaonique (Paris, 1902), 
Compare A. Wiedemann, Die Religion p. 312 ; id., Kings and Gods of Egypt 
der alien Agypter, pp. 123 sqq. ; , (New York and London, 1912), pp. 
Religion of the Ancient Egyptians^ 91 sqq. ; id., Afy stores gyptuns (Paris, 
pp. 234 sqq. ; E. A. Wallis Budge, 1913)1 pp. 37 sqq. "In one of the 
The Book of the Dead* (London, 1909), ceremonies of the 'Opening of the 
i pp. liii. sqq. ; id., The Gods of the Mouth' the deceased was temporarily 




Every dead Thus every dead Egyptian was identified with Osiris and 

jaSSfied bore his name. From the Middle Kingdom onwards it was 

with Osins. the regular practice to address the deceased as "Osiris So- 

and-So," as if he were the god himself, and to add the 

standing epithet " true of speech," because true speech was 

characteristic of Osiris. 1 The thousands of inscribed and 

pictured tombs that have been opened in the valley of the 

Nile prove that the mystery of the resurrection was performed 

for the benefit of every dead Egyptian ; 2 as Osiris died and 

rose again from the dead, so all men hoped to arise like him 

from death to life eternal. In an Egyptian text it is said of 

the departed that " as surely as Osiris lives, so shall he live 

also ; as surely as Osiris did not die, so shall he not die ; as surely 

as Osiris is not annihilated, so shall he too not be annihilated." 

The dead man, conceived to be lying, like Osiris, with 

mangled body, was comforted by being told that the heavenly 

goddess Nut, the mother of Osiris, was coming to gather up 

his poor scattered limbs and mould them with her own hands 

into a form immortal and divine. " She gives thee thy 

head, she brings thee thy bones, she sets thy limbs together 

and puts thy heart in thy body." Thus the resurrection of 

the dead was conceived, like that of Osiris, not merely as 

spiritual but also as bodily. " They possess their heart, they 

possess their senses, they possess their mouth, they possess 

their feet, they possess their arms, they possess all their 

limbs." 8 

Combat If we may trust Egyptian legend, the trials and contests 

of the r y al house did not cease with the restoration of Osiris 

placed in a "bull's skin, which was 
probably that of one of the bulls which 
were offered up during the celebratioa 
of the service. From this skin the 
deceased obtained further power, and 
his emergence from it was the visible 
symbol of his resurrection and of his 
entrance into everlasting life with all 
the strength of Osiris and Horus" 
<E. A, Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 
Egyptian Resurrection, i. 400). 

1 A, Ennan, Aegypten und aegyp- 
/itches Leben im Altertum, p. 416 ; J. 
H. Breasted, History of the Ancient 
Egyptians, pp. 149 sg.; Margaret A. 

Murray, The Qsireion at Abydos (Lon- 
don, 1904), p. 31. Under the earlier 
dynasties only kings appear to have 
been identified with Osiris. 

2 A. Moret, Mysteres Egyptitns 
(Paris, 1913)* P- 4. 

3 A. Erman, Die agyptische Re- 
ligion* pp. 111-113. However, in 
later times the body with which the 
dead came to life was believed to be a 
spiritual, not a material body ; it was 
called sa&u. See E. A, Wallis Budge, 
The Book of the Dead? i. pp. Ivii. sqqs, 
id., Osiris and the Egyptian Resume- 

ii. 123 sf. 


to life and his elevation to the rank of presiding deity in the Horus, the 
world of the dead. When Horus the younger, the son of JjJthe SOP 
Osiris and Isis, was grown to man's estate, the ghost of his of Osiris, 
royal and murdered father appeared to him and urged him, crowifof 
like another Hamlet, to avenge the foul unnatural murder Egypt 
upon his wicked uncle. Thus encouraged, the youth attacked 
the miscreant. The combat was terrific and lasted many 
days. Horus lost an eye in the conflict and Set suffered a 
still more serious mutilation. At last Thoth parted the 
combatants and healed their wounds ; the eye of Horus he 
restored by spitting on it. According to one account the 
great battle was fought on the twenty-sixth day of the month 
of Thoth. Foiled in open war, the artful uncle now took 
the law of his virtuous nephew. He brought a suit of 
bastardy against Horus, hoping thus to rob him of his 
inheritance and to get possession of it himself; nay, not 
content with having murdered his good brother, the unnatural 
Set carried his rancour even beyond the grave by accusing 
the dead Osiris of certain high crimes and misdemeanours. 
The case was tried before the supreme court of the gods in 
the great hall at Heliopolis. Thoth, the god of wisdom, 
pleaded the cause of Osiris, and the august judges decided 
that " the word of Osiris was true." Moreover, they pro- 
nounced Horus to be the true-begotten son of his father. 
So that prince assumed the crown and mounted the throne 
of the lamented Osiris. However, according to another and 
perhaps later version of the story, the victory of Horus over 
his uncle was by no means so decisive, and their struggles 
ended in a compromise, by which Horus reigned over the 
Delta, while Set became king of the upper valley of the Nile 
from near Memphis to the first cataract. Be that as it may, 
with the accession of Horus began for the Egyptians the 
modern period of the world, for on his throne all the kings 
of Egypt sat as his successors. 1 

These legends of a contest for the throne of Egypt 

1 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 19 and 55; Ancient Egyptians, pp. 214 sq.\ G. 

A. Erman, Aegypttn und acgyptisches Maspero, Histoire ancienne des Peuple* 

Leben im Altertum, p. 368; t, Die de t Orient Classiquc, i. 176-178; 

dgyptische Religion? pp. 41 sy. ; A. E, A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 

Wiedemann, Die Religion der alien Egyptian Resurrection^ i 62 sq.* 64, 

^ p. 114 ; &, Religion of the 89 sqq., 309 


BOOK in 

may be 
cence of 

Osiris re- 


The legend may perhaps contain a reminiscence of real dynastical 
of their struggles which attended an attempt to change the right of 
may be a succession from the female to the male line. For under a 
rule of female kinship the heir to the throne is either the 
late king's brother, or the son of the late king's sister, while 
under a rule of male kinship the heir to the throne is the 
late king's son. In the legend of Osiris the rival heirs are 
Set and Horus, Set being the late king's brother, and Horus 
the late king's son ; though Horus indeed united both claims 
to the crown, being the son of the king's sister as well as of 
the king. A similar attempt to shift the line of succession 
seems to have given rise to similar contests at Rome. 1 

Thus according to what seems to have been the 
general native tradition Osiris was a good and beloved 
king of Egypt, who suffered a violent death but rose from 
the dead and was henceforth worshipped as a deity. In 
harmony with this tradition he was regularly represented 
by sculptors and painters in human and regal form as a 
dead king, swathed in the wrappings of a mummy, but 
wearing on his head a kingly crown and grasping in one 
of his hands, which were left free from the bandages, a 
kingly sceptre. 2 Two cities above all others were associated 
with his myth or memory. One of them was Busiris in 
Lower Egypt, which claimed to possess his backbone ; the 
other was Abydos in Upper Egypt, which gloried in 
The tomb the possession of his head. 3 Encircled by the nimbus of 
* " ' " at the dead yet living god, Abydos, originally an obscure 
place, became from the end of the Old Kingdom the 
holiest spot in Egypt ; his tomb there would seem to have 
been to the Egyptians what the Church of the Holy 

1 The Magic Art and the Evolution 81, 210, 212, 214, 290, ii. I, 2, 8-13, 
of Kings, ii. 290 sqq. 

2 A. Wiedemann, Religion of the 
Ancient Egyptians, p. 217. For 
details see E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris 
and the Egyptian Resurrection, L 
30 sqq. 

3 J. H. Breasted, History of the 
Ancient Egyptians (London, 1908), p. 
6 1 ; id,, Development of Religion and 
Thought in Ancient Egypt, p. 38 ; 

82-85 A * Erman, Die dgyptische Re- 
ligion? pp. 21, 23, no; A. Wiede- 
mann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, 
p. 289 ; Ed. Meyer, Geschichte des 
Altertumsf i. 2. pp. 70, 96, 97. It 
appears to be now generally held that 
the original seat of the worship of 
Osiris was at Busiris, but that at Abydos 
the god found a second home, which in 
time eclipsed the old one in glory. 
According to Professors Ed. Meyer 

E". A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and and A. Erman, the god whom Osiris 
tkt Egyptian Resurrection^ i. 37, 67, displaced at Abydos was Anubis. 



Sepulchre at Jerusalem is to Christians. It was the wish 
of every pious man that his dead body should rest in 
hallowed earth near the grave of the glorified Osiris. Few 
indeed were rich enough to enjoy this inestimable privilege ; 
for, apart from the cost of a tomb in the sacred city, the 
mere transport of mummies from great distances was both 
difficult and expensive. Yet so eager were many to absorb 
in death the blessed influence which radiated from the holy 
sepulchre that they caused their surviving friends to convey 
their mortal remains to Abydos, there to tarry for a short 
time, and then to be brought back by river and interred in 
the tombs which had been made ready for them in their 
native land. Others had cenotaphs built or memorial 
tablets erected for themselves near the tomb of their dead 
and risen Lord, that they might share with him the bliss of 
a joyful resurrection. 1 

Hence from the earliest ages of Egyptian history Abydos The 
would seem to have been a city of the dead rather than of f n 
the living ; certainly there is no evidence that the place Abydos. 
was ever of any political importance. 2 No less than nine of 
the most ancient kings of Egypt known to us were buried 
here, for their tombs have been discovered and explored 
within recent years. 3 The royal necropolis lies on the edge 
of the desert about a mile and a half from the temple of 
Osiris. 4 Of the graves the oldest is that of King Khent, The tomb 
the second or third king of the first dynasty. His reign, jf h ^* g 
which fell somewhere between three thousand four hundred identified 

1 Plutarch, fsis et Osiris, 20 ; A. 
Erman, Aegyptenurid aegyptisches Leben 
im Altertum, p. 417 ; J. H. Breasted, 
History of the Ancient Egyptians 
(London, 1908), pp. 148 sq.\ Ed. 
Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums* i. 
2. p. 209 ; E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris 
and the Egyptian Resurrection, L 68 

?? ii- 3 

3 Ed. Meyer, Geschichte des Alter- 
turns f i. 2. p. 125. 

8 J. H. Breasted, History of the 
Ancient Egyptians , pp. 43, 50 sq. 
The excavations were begun by E. 
Amelineau and continued by W. M. 
Flinders Petrie (Ed. Meyer, Geschichte 
des Altertums? i. 2, p. 119). See 

E. Arnelineau, Le Tombeau d* Osiris 
(Paris, 1899) ; W. M. Flinders Petrie, 
The Royal Tombs of the Earliest 
Dynasties -, Part ii. (London, 1901). 
The excavations of the former have 
been criticized by Sir Gaston Maspero 
(Etudes de Mythologie et d* Archtologie 
kgyptiennes, vi. (Paris, 1912) pp. 

4 Ed. Meyer, Geschichte des Alter- 
turns* i. 2. pp. 119, 124; E. A. 
Wallis Budge, Osiris and the Egyptian 
Resurrection^ ii. 8. The place is now 
known by tKe Arabic name of Urnm 
al-Kaab or "Mother of Pots" on 
account of the large quantity of pottery 
that has been found there. 



with the and three thousand two hundred years before our era 
Osiris, 05 seems to have marked an epoch in the history of Egypt, 
for under him the costume, the figure drawing, and the 
hieroglyphics all assumed the character which they thence- 
forth preserved to the very end of Egyptian nationality. 1 
Later ages identified him with Osiris in a more intimate 
sense than that in which the divine title was lavished 
on every dead king and indeed on every dead man ; for 
his tomb was actually converted into the tomb of Osiris 
and as such received in great profusion the offerings of the 
faithful. Somewhere between the twenty-second and the 
twenty-sixth dynasty a massive bier of grey granite was 
placed in the sepulchral chamber. On it, cut in high relief, 
The sculp- reposes a shrouded figure of the dead Osiris. He lies at 

ful1 len g th > with bare and upturned face. On his head is 
the White Crown of Upper Egypt; in his hands, which 
issue from the shroud, he holds the characteristic emblems 
of the god, the sceptre and the scourge. At the four corners 
of the bier are perched four hawks, representing the four 
children of Horus, each with their father's banner, keeping 
watch over the dead god, as they kept watch over the four 
quarters of the world. A fifth hawk seems to have been 
perched on the middle of the body of Osiris, but it had been 
broken off before the tomb was discovered in recent years, for 
only the bird's claws remain in position. Finely carved Jieads 
of lions, one at each corner of the bier, with the claws to 
match below, complete the impressive monument The 
scene represented is unquestionably the impregnation of Isis 
in the form of a hawk by the dead Osiris ; the Copts who 
dismantled the shrine appear to have vented their pious 
rage on the figure of the hawk Isis by carrying it off or 
smashing it If any doubt could exist as to the meaning 
of these sculptured figures, it would be set at rest by the 
ancient inscriptions attached to them. Over against the 
right shoulder of the shrouded figure, who lies stretched on 
the bier, *re carved in hieroglyphics the words, Osiris, the 

1 Ed. Meyer, Geschichtc des Alter- Dr. Budge (Osiris and the Egyptian 

turns* L 2. pp. 119, 125, 127, 128, Resurrection, ii. 83) the true reading is 

129,209. The king's Horus name has Khent (Ghent). The king's personal 

sometimes been read Zer, hut according name was perhaps Ka (Ed. Meyer, 

to Professor tyeyer (#. cit. p. 128) and <#. p. 128). 




Good Being, true of speech " ; and over against the place 
where the missing hawk perched on the body of the dead 
god is carved the symbol of Isis. Two relics of the ancient 
human occupants of the tomb escaped alike the fury of the 
fanatics and the avarice of the plunderers who pillaged and 
destroyed it One of the relics is a human skull, from 
which the lower jawbone is missing ; the other is an arm 
encircled by gorgeous jewelled bracelets of gold, turquoises, 
amethysts, and dark purple lapis lazuli. The former may 
be the head of King Khent himself; the latter is almost 
certainly the arm of his queen. One of the bracelets is 
composed of alternate plaques of gold and turquoise, each 
ornamented with the figure of a hawk perched on the 
top of it 1 The hawk was the sacred bird or crest of The hawk 
the earliest dynasties of Egyptian kings. The figure of a * ^J^j 
hawk was borne before the king as a standard on solemn dynasties. 
occasions : the oldest capital of the country known to us 
was called Hawk-town : there the kings of the first dynasty 
built a temple to the hawk : there in modern times has 
been found a splendid golden head of a hawk dating from 
the Ancient Empire ; and on the life-like statue of King 
Chephren of the third dynasty we see a hawk with out- 
spread wings protecting the back of the monarch's head. 

1 E. Amelineau, Le Tombeau d* Osiris 
(Paris, 1899), PP- I07-U5; W. M. 
Flinders Petrie, The Royal Tombs of 
the Earliest Dynasties, Part ii. (Lon- 
don, 1901) pp. 8 sg.y 16-19, with 
the frontispiece and plates Ix. IxL; 
G. Maspero, Etudes de Mythologie et 
d?Archologie Egyptiennes^wns, 1893- 
1912), vi. 167-173; J. H. Breasted, 
History of the Ancient Egyptians 
(London, 1908), pp. 50 sg., 148; 
E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 
Egyptian Resurrection^ ii. 8-10, 13, 
83-85. The tomb, with its interest- 
ing contents, was discovered and ex- 
cavated by Monsieur E. Amelineau. 
The masses, almost the mountains, 
of broken pottery, under which the 
tomb was found to be buried, are 
probably remains of the vessels in 
which pious pilgrims presented their 
offerings at the shrine. See E. Ame*li* 
neau, of. tit* pp. 85 sy. ; J. H. 


Breasted, op. tit. pp. 51, -148. The 
high White Crown, worn by Osiris, 
was the symbol of the king's dominion 
over Upper Egypt ; the flat Red 
Crown, with a high backpiece and a 
projecting spiral, was the symbol of 
his dominion over Lower Egypt. On 
the monuments the king is sometimes 
represented wearing a combination of 
the White and the Red Crown to 
symbolize his sovereignty over both 
the South and the North. White was 
the distinctive colour of Upper, as red 
was of Lower, Egypt. The treasury 
of Upper Egypt was called "the 
White House " ; the treasury of Lower 
Egypt was called " the Red House." 
See Ed. Meyer, GeschichU des Alter* 
turns f i. 2. pp. 103 jy.; J. H. 
Breasted, History of the Ancient 
Egyptians (London, 1908), pp. 34 jy. f 



From the earliest to the latest times of Egyptian civiliza- 
tion "the Hawk" was the epithet of the king of Egypt 
and of the king alone ; it took the first place in the list of 
his titles. 1 The sanctity of the bird may help us to under- 
stand why Isis took the form of a hawk in order to mate 
with her dead husband ; why the queen of Egypt wore on 
her arm a bracelet adorned with golden hawks ; and why in 
the holy sepulchre the four sons of Horus were represented 
in the likeness of hawks keeping watch over the effigy of 
their divine grandfather. 2 

Theasso- The legend recorded by Plutarch which associated the 

elation of dead Osiris with Byblus in Phoenicia 8 is doubtless late and 

Osiris with J 

Byblus. probably untrustworthy. It may have been suggested by 
the resemblance which the worship of the Egyptian Osiris 
bore to the worship of the Phoenician Adonis in that city. 
But it is possible that the story has no deeper foundation 
than a verbal misunderstanding. For Byblus is not only 
the name of a city, it is the Greek word for papyrus ; and 
as Isis is said after the death of Osiris to have taken refuge 
in the papyrus swamps of the Delta, where she gave birth to 
and reared her son Horus, a Greek writer may perhaps have 
confused the plant with the city of the same name. 4 How- 

1 A. Moret, Mysteres Egyptiens 
(Paris, 1913), pp. 159-162, with 
plate iii. Compare Victor Loret, 
"L'fegypte au temps du totemisme," 
Confirmees faites au Muste Guimet, 
Bibliotheque de Vulgarisation, xix. 
(Paris, 1906) pp. 179-186. Both 
these writers regard tiie hawk as the 
totem of the royal clan. This view is 
rejected by Prof. Ed. Meyer, who, 
however, holds that Horus, whose 
emblem was the hawk, was the oldest 
national god of Egypt (Geschichte des 
Altertums? i. 2. pp. 102-106). He 
prefers to suppose that the hawk, or 
rather the falcon, was the emblem of a 
god of light because the bird flies high 
in the sky (op. tit. p. 73 ; according 
to him the bird is not the sparrow- 
hawk but the falcon, to. p. 75). A 
similar view is adopted by Professor 
A. Wiedemann (Religion of the 
Ancient Egyptians, p. 26). Compare 
A. Erman, -Die agyptische Religion* 

pp. 10, n. The native Egyptian 
name of Hawk-town was Nechen, in 
Greek it was Hieraconpolis (Ed. Meyer, 
op. dt. p. 103). Hawks were wor- 
shipped by the inhabitants (Strabo, 
xvii. i. 47, p. 817). 

2 According to the legend the four 
sons of Horus were set by Anubis to 
protect the burial of Osiris. They 
washed his dead body, they mourned 
over him, and they opened his cold 
lips with their fingers. But they dis- 
appeared, for Isis had caused them to 
grow out of a lotus flower in a pool of 
water. In that position they are some- 
times represented in Egyptian art 
before the seated effigy of Osiris. See 
A. Erman, Die agyptische Religion? 
p. 43; E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris 
and the Egyptian Resurrection, i. 40, 

3 See above, pp. 9 sq. 
E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and 
the Egyptian Resurrection, i 16 sq. 


ever that may have been, the association of Osiris with 
Adonis at Byblus gave rise to a curious tale. It is said 
that every year the people beyond the rivers of Ethiopia 
used to write a letter to the women of Byblus informing 
them that the lost and lamented Adonis was found. This 
letter they enclosed in an earthen pot, which they sealed 
and sent floating down the river to the sea. The waves 
carried the pot to Byblus, where every year it arrived at 
the time when the Syrian women were weeping for their 
dead Lord. The pot was taken up from the water and 
opened : the letter was read ; and the weeping women 
dried their tears, because the lost Adonis was found. 1 

1 Cyril of Alexandria, / Isaiam % lib. ii. Tomus iii. (Migne's Patrologia 
Graeca, Ixx. 441). 




The date A USEFUL clue to the original nature of a god or goddess is 
festival ^ ten finished by the season at which his or her festival is 
sometimes celebrated. Thus, if the festival falls at the new or the full 
a^iieto m oon, there is a certain presumption that the deity thus 
the nature honoured either is the moon or at least has lunar affinities. 
e g ' If the festival is held at tne winter or summer solstice, we 
naturally surmise that the god is the sun, or at all events 
that he stands in some close relation to that luminary. 
Again, if the festival coincides with the time of sowing or 
harvest, we are inclined to infer that the divinity is an 
embodiment of the earth or of the corn. These presumptions 
or inferences, taken by themselves, are by no means con- 
clusive ; but if they happen to be confirmed by other 
indications, the evidence may be regarded as fairly strong. 
The year Unfortunately, in dealing with the Egyptian gods we are 

Egyptian in a S reat measure precluded from making use of this clue, 
calendar The reason is not that the dates of the festivals are always 

a vague or 1 , J 

movable unknown, but that they shifted from year to year, until 
after a long interval they had revolved through the whole 
course of the seasons. This gradual revolution of the 
festal Egyptian cycle resulted from the employment of a 
calendar year which neither corresponded exactly to the 
solar year nor was periodically corrected by intercalation. 1 

1 As to the Egyptian calendar see Chronologic der Aegypter, i. (Berlin, 
L. Ideler, ffandbuch der mathe- 1849) pp. 125 sqq. ; H. Brugsch, 
matischen und technischen Chronologic Die Agyptologie (Leipsic, 1891), pp. 

T B ^ H ?*'r,^ 2S ~ l826)> l 93 w> ; Sir 347-366 ; A. Erman, Aegypten und 

J- G. Wilkinson, Manners and Customs aegyptisches Leoen im Altertum, pp. 

of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 468 sy. ; G. Maspero, Histoire an- 

1*78), u. 368 sgy. ; R. Lepsius, Die cunne des Peuples de POrient Clas- 



The solar year is equivalent to about three hundred and sixty- 
five and a quarter days ; but the ancient Egyptians, ignoring 
the quarter of a day, reckoned the year at three hundred and 
sixty-five days only. 1 Thus each of their calendar years 
was shorter than the true solar year by about a quarter of a 
day. In four years the deficiency amounted to one whole 
day ; in forty years it amounted to ten days ; in four hundred 
years it amounted to a hundred days; and so it went on 
increasing until after a lapse of four times three hundred and 
sixty-five, or one thousand four hundred and sixty solar 
years, the deficiency amounted to three hundred and sixty- 
five days, or a whole Egyptian year. Hence one thousand 
four hundred and sixty solar years, or their equivalent, 
one thousand four hundred and sixty-one Egyptian years, 
formed a period or cycle at the end of which the Egyptian 
festivals returned to those points of the solar year at which 
they had been celebrated in the beginning. 2 In the mean- 
time they had been held successively on every day of the 
solar year, though always on the same day of the calendar. 

Thus the official calendar was completely divorced, Thus the 
except at rare and long intervals, from what may be called calendar 
the natural calendar of the shepherd, the husbandman, and was 


the sailor that is, from the course of the seasons in which fr om 

the times for the various labours of cattle-breeding, tillage, natural 
and navigation are marked by the position of the sun in the W hich is' 
sky, the rising or setting of the stars, the fall of rain, the parked by 

to the course 

growth of pasture, the ripening of the corn, the blowing of of the 
certain winds, and so forth. Nowhere, perhaps, are the seasons - 
events of this natural calendar better marked or more 
regular in their recurrence than in Egypt ; nowhere accord- 
ingly could their divergence from the corresponding dates 
of the official calendar be more readily observed. The 

sique, i. 207 - 210 ; Ed. Meyer, 
" Aegyptische Chronologic," Abhand- 
lungen der ktinigL Preuss. Akademie 
der Wissenschafterii 1904, pp. 2 sqq. ; 
f., " Nachtrage zur agyptischen 
Chronologic," Abhandlungen der 
konigl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissen- 
schaften, 1907, pp. 3 sqq* ; *, 
Geschickte des Altertums* i. 2. pp. 
28 sqq. t 98 sqq. ; F. K. Ginzel, 

Handbuch der matkematischen und 
techniseh&n Chronologic^ i. (Leipsic, 
1906) pp. 150 sqq. 

1 Herodotus, ii. 4, with A. Wiede- 
mann's note ; Geminus, Element* 
AstronomiaC) 8, p. 106, ed. C. Hani- 
tins (Leipsic, 1898) ; Censorinus, De 
die natali, xviii. IO. 

9 Geminus, Elementa Astronomiae^ 
8, pp. 1 06 sqq. t ed. C. Manitius. 


divergence certainly did not escape the notice of the 
Egyptians themselves, and some of them apparently 
attempted successfully to correct it. Thus we are told that 
the Theban priests, who particularly excelled in astronomy, 
were acquainted with the true length of the solar year, and 
harmonized the calendar with it by intercalating a day 
every few, probably every four, years. 1 But this scientific 
improvement was too deeply opposed to the religious con- 
servatism of the Egyptian nature to win general acceptance. 
" The Egyptians, 11 said Geminus, a Greek astronomei writing 
about 77 B.C, "are of an opposite opinion and purpose from 
the Greeks. For they neither reckon the years by the sun 
nor the months and days by the moon, but they observe a 
peculiar system of their own. They wish, in fact, that the 
sacrifices should not always be offered to the gods at the 
same time of the year, but that they should pass through 
all the seasons of the year, so that the summer festival should 
in time be celebrated in winter, in autumn, and in spring. 
For that purpose they employ a year of three hundred and 
sixty-five days, composed of twelve months of thirty days 
each, with five supplementary days added. But they do 
not add the quarter of a day for the reason I have given 
namely, in order that their festivals may revolve." 2 So 
attached, indeed, were the Egyptians to their old calendar, 
that the kings at their consecration were led by the priest 
of Isis at Memphis into the holy of holies, and there made 
to swear that they would maintain the year of three hundred 
and sixty-five days without intercalation. 8 

The practical inconvenience of a calendar which marked 
true time only once in about fifteen hundred years might be 

* Bkidoras Stculus, I 50, 2 ; Strabo, 

i. 46, p, 816. According to H. 
sdi (Die A&ptetogb, pp. 349 
the Egyptians would seem to have 
denoted tbe movable year of the 
eakfcdar and tbe fixed year of the sun 
ly dHfcrau written symbols. For more 
**tcee that they were acquainted 
will* a fen* yeai* 1 period, corrected by 
ijtewbtm, see R, Lepsius, Ckm*. 

**"*" *W*r t i 149 J. 

* Gemmos, EUmtnta As*rmomia*> 

106, ed, C. Ujuiiuus. The same 

writer further (p, 108) describes as a 
popular Greek error the opinion that 
the Egyptian festival of Isis coincided 
with the winter solstice. In his day, 
he tells us, the two events were 
separated by an interval of a full month, 
though they had coincided a hundred 
and twenty years before the time he 
was writing. 

* SckoUa in Caesaris Germanic* 
Aratta t p. 409, ed, Fr. Eyssenhardt, 
in his edition of Martianus Capella 
(Leipsic, 1866). 


calmly borne by a submissive Oriental race like the ancient Attempt of 
Egyptians, but it naturally proved a stumbling-block to the fj^ 1 ^ 
less patient temperament of their European conquerors, reform the 
Accordingly in the reign of King Ptolemy III. Euergetes a 

decree was passed that henceforth the movable Egyptian by inter- 
year should be converted into a fixed solar year by the 
intercalation of one day at the end of every four years, " in 
order that the seasons may do their duty perpetually 
according to the present constitution of the world, and that 
it may not happen, through the shifting of the star by one 
day in four years, that some of the public festivals which 
are now held in the winter should ever be celebrated in the 
summer, and that other festivals now held in the summer 
should hereafter be celebrated in the winter, as has happened 
before, and must happen again if the year of three hundred and 
sixty-five days be retained." The decree was passed in the 
year 239 or 238 B.C. by the high priests, scribes, and other 
dignitaries of the Egyptian church assembled in convocation 
at Canopus ; but we cannot doubt that the measure, though 
it embodied native Egyptian science, was prompted by the 
king or his Macedonian advisers. 1 This sage attempt to 
reform the erratic calendar was not permanently successful. 
The change may indeed have been carried out during the 
reign of the king who instituted it, but it was abandoned by 
the year 196 B.C. at latest, as we learn from the celebrated 
inscription known as the Rosetta stone, in which a month 
of the Macedonian calendar is equated to the corresponding 
month of the movable Egyptian year. 2 And the testimony 
of Geminus, which I have cited, proves that in the follow- 
ing century the festivals were still revolving in the old style. 

The reform which the Macedonian king had vainly institution 
attempted to impose upon his people was accomplished by ^j 
the practical Romans when they took over the administra- 

year by 

1 Copies of the decree in hiero- Ptolemies (London, 1895), pp. 205 ^ e 

glyphic, demotic, and Greek have been sqq^ 226 sqq. The star mentioned in Roman ' 

found inscribed on stones in Egypt. the decree is the Dog-star (Sinus), 

See Ch. Michel, Recueil $ Inscriptions See below, pp. 34 sqq. 
Grecques (Brussels, 1900), pp. 415 sqq.> 

No. 551 ; W. Dittenberger, Orieniis * W. Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci 

Grtuci Inscriptiones Stlecttu {Leipsic, Inscription** Selcctae> voL i. pp. 140 

1903-1905), vol. i. pp. 91 sqq., No. sqq** No. 90, with note 25 of the 

56; J, P. Mahafiy, The Empire of the editor. 


tion of the country. The expedient by which they effected 
the change was a simple one ; indeed it was no other than 
that to which Ptolemy Euergetes had resorted for the same 
purpose. They merely intercalated one day at the end of 
every four years, thus equalizing within a small fraction four 
calendar years to four solar years. Henceforth the official 
and the natural calendars were in practical agreement The 
movable Egyptian year had been converted into the fixed 
Alexandrian year, as it was called, which agreed with the 
Julian year in length and in its system of intercalation, 
though it differed from that year in retaining the twelve 
equal Egyptian months and five supplementary days. 1 But 
while the new calendar received the sanction of law and 
regulated the business of government, the ancient calendar 
was too firmly established in popular usage to be at once 
displaced. Accordingly it survived for ages side by side with 
its modern rival. 2 The spread of Christianity, which required 
a fixed year for the due observance of its festivals, did much 
to promote the adoption of the new Alexandrian style, and 
by the beginning of the fifth century the ancient movable year 
of Egypt appears to have been not only dead but forgotten. 8 

1 On the Alexandrian year see L. 

Ideler, Handbuch dtr mathematischen 

ttnd ttchnischtn Chronologic^ i. 140 

i$f. That admirable chronologer 

argued (pp. 153-161) that the in- 

novation was introduced not, as had 

beta commonly supposed, in 25 B.C., 

hat m 30 B.C., the year in which 

Augustus defeated Mark Antony under 

the wails of Alexandria and captured 

t&eeity. However, the question seems 

to be still unsettled. See F. K. Ginzel, 

ffene&wh der mathtmatischen und 

tecknixkcn Ck*vmtegu s L 226 j^,, 

wfeo thinks it probable that the change 

was made in 26 B.C. For the purposes 

rf this study the precise date of the 

introduction of the Alexandrian year is 

not material. 

f la demotic tlie ixed Alexandrian 
J**r fe called "the year of the 
leeiwaC while the old movable year 
k itykd "tfeeyear of the Egyptians.** 
wa*ate have been found which are 
dated by die day tad the month of 

both years. See H. Brugsch, Die 
Agyptologie> pp. 354 sg. 

3 L. Ideler, op. at. i. 149-152. 
Macrobius thought that the Egyptians 
had always employed a solar year of 
365^ days (Saturn, i. 12. 2, i. 14. 3). 
The ancient calendar of the Mexicans 
resembled that of the Egyptians except 
that it was divided into eighteen months 
of twenty days each (instead of twelve 
months of thirty days each), with five 
supplementary days added at the end 
of the year. These supplementary 
days (nemontemi) were deemed un- 
lucky ; nothing was done on them : 
they were dedicated to no deity ; and 
persons bom on them were considered 
unfortunate. See B. de Sahagun, 
Histaire gtntrale des chostt de la 
Nouvelle-Espagne, traduite par D. 
Jourdanet et R. Simeon (Paris, 1880), 
pp. SO, 164 ; F. S. Clavigero, History 
of Mexico (London, 1807), * 290. 
Unlike the Egyptian calendar, how- 
ever, the Mexican appears to have 


been regularly corrected by intercala- 
tion so as to bring it into harmony 
with the solar year. But as to the 
mode of intercalation our authorities 
differ. According to the positive 
statement of Sahagun, one of the 
earliest and best authorities, the 
Mexicans corrected the deficiency of 
their year by intercalating one day in 
every fourth year, which is precisely the 
correction adopted in the Alexandrian 
and the Julian calendar. See B. de 
Sahagun, op. tit. pp. 286 sg. t where 
he expressly asserts the falsehood of 
the view that the bissextile year was 
unknown to the Mexicans. This 
weighty statement is confirmed by the 
practice of the Indians of Yucatan. 
Like the Aztecs, they reckoned a year 
to consist of 360 days divided into 
18 months of 20 days each, with 5 
days added so as to make a total of 
365 days, but every fourth year they 
intercalated a day so as to make a 

total of 366 days. See Diego de 
Landa, Relation des choses de Yucatan 
(Paris, 1864), pp. 202 sqq. On the 
other hand the historian Clavigero, 
who lived in the eighteenth century, 
but used earlier authorities, tells us 
that the Mexicans " did not interpose 
a day every four years, but thirteen 
days (making use here even of this 
favourite number) every fifty-two years ; 
which produces the same regulation of 
time" (History of Mexico, Second 
Edition, London, 1807, vol. i. p. 293). 
However, the view that the Mexicans 
corrected their year by intercalation is 
rejected by Professor E. Seler. See his 
" Mexican Chronology," in Bulletin 28 
of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
(Washington, 1904), pp. 13 w . ; an d 
on the other side Miss Zelia Nuttall, 
"The Periodical Adjustments of the 
Ancient Mexican Calendar," American 
Anthropologist* N.S. vi. 



i. The Rise and Fall of the Nile 

in Egypt IF the Egyptian farmer of the olden time could thus get no 
the opera- j^p, exce pt at the rarest intervals, from the official or sacer- 
dotal calendar, he must have been compelled to observe for 
himself those natural signals which marked the times for the 

. , . , r ,, f , . , 

the various operations of husbandry. In all ages of which we 
possess any records the Egyptians have been an agricultural 
the Nile, people, dependent for their subsistence on the growth of the 
corn. The cereals which they cultivated were wheat, barley, 
and apparently sorghum (Holcus sorghum^ Linnaeus), the 
doora of the modern fellaheen. 1 Then as now the whole 
country, with the exception of a fringe on the coast of the 
Mediterranean, was almost rainless, and owed its immense 
fertility entirely to the annual inundation of the Nile, which, 
regulated by an elaborate system of dams and canals, was 
distributed over the fields, renewing the soil year by year 
with a fresh deposit of mud washed down from the great 
equatorial lakes and the mountains of Abyssinia. Hence 
the rise of the river has always been watched by the in- 
habitants with the utmost anxiety ; for if it either falls short 
of or exceeds a certain height, dearth and famine are the 
inevitable consequences. 8 The water begins to rise early in 

* Heeo<!ot, *L 36, with A. Wwde- Altertum, pp. 577 sqq. ; A. de Can- 

aa*s sate; Dk<iom Sfeutos, i 14. dolle, Origin of Cultivated Plants 

L 17, i * Plrny, Mat. ffist, v. 57 (London, 1884), pp. 354 sq., 369, 

, *?til 60; Sir J. Gardiner Wilkin- 381 j G. Maspero, Histoirt ancunne 

sem, Manors and Customs of the des Peoples de r Orient Clasriguc, i. 66. 

p&ms (London, *8 7 8), * Herodotus, ii. 14 ; Diodonu 

4i 4^ ^-; A- Ennan, Siculus, L 36 ; Strabo, xvii. I. 3, pp. 

M&ftisx&a Ltben im 786-788; Pliny, Nat. Hist, xviil 167- 



June, but it is not until the latter half of July that it swells to 
a mighty tide. By the end of September the inundation is 
at its greatest height The country is now submerged, and 
presents the appearance of a sea of turbid water, from which 
the towns and villages, built on higher ground, rise like 
islands. For about a month the flood remains nearly 
stationary, then sinks more and more rapidly, till by De- 
cember or January the river has returned to its ordinary 
bed. With the approach of summer the level of the water 
continues to fall. In the early days of June the Nile is 
reduced to half its ordinary breadth ; and Egypt, scorched 
by the sun, blasted by the wind that has blown from the 
Sahara for many days, seems a mere continuation of the 
desert. The trees are choked with a thick layer of grey 
dust A few meagre patches of vegetables, watered with 
difficulty, struggle painfully for existence in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the villages. Some appearance of verdure 
lingers beside the canals and in the hollows from which the 
moisture has not wholly evaporated. The plain appears to 
pant in the pitiless sunshine, bare, dusty, ash -coloured, 
cracked and seamed as far as the eye can see with a net- 
work of fissures. From the middle of April till the middle 
of June the land of Egypt is but half alive, waiting for the 
new Nile. 1 

For countless ages this cycle of natural events has irrigation, 
determined the annual labours of the Egyptian husband- JjJJ^*^ 
man. The first work of the agricultural year is the cutting in Egypt 

170; Seneca, Natur. Qttaest. iv. 2. tember 22). This agrees exactly with 

l-io; E. W. Lane, Manners and Cus- the statement of Diodorus Siculus (i. 

toms of 'the Modern Egyptians (Paisley 36. 2). Herodotus says (iL 19) that 

and London, 1895), pp. 17 jy., 495 the rise of the river lasted for a hun- 

sqq. ; A. Erman, op. tit. pp. 21*25 5 dred days from the summer solstice. 

G, Maspero, op* cit. i 22 sqq. How- Compare Pliny, Not. ffist. v. 57, 

ever, since the Suez Canal was cut, xviii 167 ; Seneca, Not. Quoest. iv. 

rain has been commoner in Lower 2. x. According to Prof. Ginzel the 

Egypt (A. H. Sayce on Herodotus, Nile does not rise in Egypt till the last 

ii. 14). week of June (ffandduih der mathc- 

1 G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des matischen und Uchnischen Chronologic* 

Peuples del* Orient Classique,\. 22-26 j i. 154). For ancient descriptions of 

A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Egypt in time of flood see Herodotus, 

Lefan im Altertum, p. 23, According ii. 97 ; Diodorus Siculus, i. 36. 8 sy. ; 

to Lane (op. cit. pp. 17 $q.) the Nile Strabo, xvii. I. 4, p. 788; Aelian, 2>t 

rises in Egypt about the summer sol- nafura animalium^ x. 43 ; Achilles 

stice (June 21) and reaches its greatest Tatius, iv. 12 ; Seneca, Natur. Quaest. 

height by the autumnal equinox (Sep- iv. 2. 8 and x I. 


of the dams which have hitherto prevented the swollen 
river from flooding the canals and the fields. This is done, 
and the pent-up waters released on their beneficent mission, 
in the first half of August 1 In November, when the inun- 
dation has subsided, wheat, barley, and sorghum are sown. 
The time of harvest varies with the district, falling about a 
month later in the north than in the south. In Upper or 
Southern Egypt barley is reaped at the beginning of March, 
wheat at the beginning of April, and sorghum about the 
end of that month. 2 

The events It is natural to suppose that these various events of the 
oftheagri- agricultural year were celebrated by the Egyptian farmer 
with some simple religious rites designed to secure the 
blessing of the gods upon his labours. These rustic cere- 
monies he would continue to perform year after year at 
the same season, while the solemn festivals of the priests 
continued to shift, with the shifting calendar, from summer 
through spring to winter, and so backward through autumn 
to summer. The rites of the husbandman were stable 
because they rested on direct observation of nature : the 
rites of the priest were unstable because they were based on 
a false calculation. Yet many of the priestly festivals may 
have been nothing but the old rural festivals disguised in the 
course of ages by the pomp of sacerdotalism and severed, by 
the error of the calendar, from their roots in the natural 
cycle of the seasons. 


1 Sir J.Gardiner Wilkinson, Manners 
end Customs of the Ancient Egyptians 
(London, 1878), ii. 365 if. ; E. W. 
Lane, Manners and Customs of the 
Modem Egyptians {Paisleyand London, 
i89$J pp. 498 sff. ; G. Maspero, 
Hist&rc&tciennidtsPeuplesdt f Orient 
C&jjfefwe, i. 23 if., 69. The last- 
mentioaed writer says (p. 24} that the 
dams are commonly cut between the 
iist and sixteenth of July, but appar- 
ently be means August. 

* S& J, D. Wilkinson, ep. cit. it 398 
if, ; PR* W. M. Flinders Petrie, cited 
i*>o*e,ToLip, 231, note*. According 

to Pliny (Nat. Hist, xviii. 60) barley 
was reaped in Egypt in the sixth month 
from sowing, and wheat in the seventh 
month. Diodorus Siculus, on the other 
hand, says (i. 36. 4) that the corn was 
reaped after four or five months. Per. 
haps Pliny refers to Lower, and Dio- 
dorus to Upper Egypt. Elsewhere 
Pliny affirms (Nat. Hist, xviii. 169) 
that the corn was sown at the begin- 
ning of November, and that the reaping 
began at the end of March and was 
completed in May. This certainly 
applies better to Lower than to Upper 




8 2. Rites of Irrigation 

These conjectures are confirmed by the little we know Mourning 
both of the popular and of the official Egyptian religion. Jj^jJ" 8 
Thus we are told that the Egyptians held a festival of Isis summer 
at the time when the Nile began to rise. They believed 
that the goddess was then mourning for the lost Osiris, and to rise, 
that the tears which dropped from her eyes swelled the 
impetuous tide of the river. 1 Hence in Egyptian inscrip- 
tions Isis is spoken of as she " who maketh the Nile to swell 
and overflow, who maketh the Nile to swell in his season." 2 
Similarly the Toradjas of Central 'Celebes imagine that 
showers of rain are the tears shed by the compassionate 
gods in weeping for somebody who is about to die ; a 
shower in the morning is to them an infallible omen of 
death. 3 However, an uneasy suspicion would seem to have 
occurred to the Egyptians that perhaps after all the tears of 
the goddess might not suffice of themselves to raise the 
wat^r to the proper level ; so in the time of Rameses II. 
the king used on the first day of the flood to throw into the 
Nile a written order commanding the river to do its duty, 
and the submissive stream never failed to obey the royal 
mandate.* Yet the ancient belief survives in a modified 
form to this day. For the Nile, as we saw, begins to rise in 
June about the time of the summer solstice, and the people 
still attribute its increased volume to a miraculous drop 
which falls into the river on the night of the seventeenth of 
the month. The charms and divinations which they practise 
on that mystic night in order to ascertain the length of their 
own life and to rid the houses of bugs may well date from 
a remote antiquity. 6 Now if Osiris was in one of his aspects 

1 Pausanias, x. 32. 18. 

2 E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and 
the Egyptian Resurrection^ ii. 278. 

3 N. Adrian! en Alb. C. Kruijt, De 
Bare*e-sprekende Toradjas van Midden- 
Celebes (Batavia, 1912), i. 273. The 
more civilized Indians of tropical 
America, who practised agriculture 
and had developed a barbaric art, 
appear to have commonly represented 
the rain-god in human form with tears 

streaming down from his eyes. See 
T. A. Joyce, "The Weeping God," 
Essays and Studies presented to William 
Ridgeway (Cambridge, 1913), pp. 365- 


4 This we learn from inscriptions 
at Silsilis. See A. Moret, Mysteres 
Egyptiens (Paris, 1913), p. 180. 

6 E. W. Lane, Manners and Customs 
of the Modern Egyptians (Paisley and 
London, 1895), ch. xxvi. pp. 495 sq. 


a god of the corn, nothing could be more natural than that 
he should be mourned at midsummer. For by that time the 
harvest was past, the fields were bare, the river ran low, life 
seemed to be suspended, the corn -god was dead. At such a 
moment people who saw the handiwork of divine beings in 
all the operations of nature might well trace the swelling of 
the sacred stream to the tears shed by the goddess at the 
death of the beneficent corn-god her husband. 

And the sign of the rising waters on earth was accom- 
panied by a sign in heaven. For in the early days of 

as the star ~ J , r> t * j ir 

Egyptian history, some three or four thousand years before 
the beginning of our era, the splendid star of Sirius, the 
brightest of all the fixed stars, appeared at dawn in the east 
just before sunrise about the time of the summer solstice, 
when the Nile begins to rise. 1 'The Egyptians called it 
Sothis, and regarded it as .the star of Isis, 2 just as the 

of IMS. 

1 L. Ideler, Hcatdouch der mathe- 
matischm und tcchnischen Chronologic, 
i 124 sqq. ; R. Lepsius, Die Chrono- 
kgte der Aegypttr, i. 168 sq. ; F. K. 
Ginzei, Handbuch der math&natischtn 
und Ucknisehen ChronokgU, i. 190 
sq. ; Ed. Meyer, " Nachtrage zur 
agyptischen Chronologic," Abhand- 
fangcn der konigL Preuss. Akadtmu 
far Wissenschaften^ 1907 (Berlin, 
1908}, pp. II sq. ; id.> Gcschichte des 
Alttrtvms* u 28 sq,, 99 sqq. The 
coincidence of the rising of Sirius with 
the swelling of the Nile is mentioned 
by Tibullus (i. 7, 21 sq.) and Aelian 
(>f naiura animalium.^ x. 45). In 
kter times, as a consequence of the 
precessioci of the equinoxes, the rising 
of Sirias gradually diverged from the 
sammer solstice, falling later and later 
ia the sokr year. In the sixteenth 
and fifteenth century B.C. Sirius rose 
serenteen days after the summer 
solstice, and at the date of the Canopic 
decree (238 B.C.) it rose a whole 
ate the first swelling of the 
See L. Ideler, op. cii.i. 130 ; 
Ginzei, op. cti, \* 190; Ed. 
Jpcyei, * Macntrage 


pp. II ^. According 
(D* du nataU, xxl 

regiilariy rose in Egypt on the 
of July (Julian calendar); 

and this was true of latitude 30 in 
Egypt (the latitude nearly of Heliopolis 
and Memphis) for about three thousand 
years of Egyptian history. See L. 
Ideler, op. cit. i. 128-130. But the 
date of the rising of the star is not 
the same throughout Egypt ; it varies 
with the latitude, and the variation 
within the limits of Egypt amounts to 
seven days or more. Roughly speak- 
ing, Sirius rises nearly a whole day 
earlier for each degree of latitude you 
go south. Thus, whereas near Alex- 
andria in the north Sirius does not rise 
till the twenty-second of July, at Syene 
in the south it rises on the sixteenth 
of July. See R. Lepsius, op. cit. L 
1 68 sq. ; F. K. Ginzei, op. cit. i. 
182 sq. Now it is to be remembered 
that the rising of the Nile, as well as 
the rising of Sirius, is observed earlier 
and earlier the further south you go. 
The coincident variation of the two 
phenomena could hardly fail to con- 
firm the Egyptians in their belief of a 
natural or supernatural connexion be- 
tween them. 

1 Diodorus Siculus, i. 27. 4 ; Plu- 
tarch, ZB> et Osiris* 21, 22, 38, 61 ; 
Porphyry, De antro nympharum, 24$ 
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, ii. 
517 ; Canopic decree, lines 36 sq., in 
W> Dittenberger's Oruntis Craeci 

CHAP. Ill 



Babylonians deemed the planet Venus the star of Astarte. 
To both peoples apparently the brilliant luminary in the 
morning sky seemed the goddess of life and love come to 
mourn her departed lover or spouse and to wake him from the 
dead. Hence the rising of Sirius marked the beginning of the 
sacred Egyptian year, 1 and was regularly celebrated by a festi- 
val which did not shift with the shifting official year. 2 The 

scriptiones Selectae^ vol. i. p. 102, No. 
56 (lines 28 sq. in Ch. Michel's Re- 
cueil tf Inscriptions Grecques^ p. 417, 
No. 551) J R. V. Lanzone, Dizionario 
di Mitologia Egizia, pp. 825 sq. On 
the ceiling of the Memnonium at 
Thebes the heliacal rising of Sirius is 
represented under the form and name 
of Isis (Sir J. G. Wilkinson, Manners 
and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians^ 
London, 1878, iii. 102). 

1 Porphyry and the Canopic decree,* ; Censorinus, De die natali, xviii. 
10, xxi. 10. In inscriptions on the 
temple at Syene, the modem Assuan, 
Isis is called " the mistress of the be- 
ginning of the year," the goddess 
" who revolves about the world, near 
to the constellation of Orion, who rises 
in the eastern sky and passes to the 
west perpetually " (R. V. Lanzone, op. 
cit. p. 826). According to some, the 
festival of the rising of Sirius and the 
beginning of the sacred year was held 
on the nineteenth, not the twentieth 
of July. See Ed. Meyer, "Agyp- 
tische Chronologic," Abhandlungen der 
kSnigL Preuss. Akademie der Wissen- 
schaften^ 1904, pp. 22 sqq. ; id. y 
"Nachtrage zur agyptischen Chrono- 
logic," Abhandtungen der konigL 
Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften^ 
!9 O 7 PP- 7 -W* J *^> Geschichte des 
Altertumsf- i. 2. pp. 28 sqq. y 98 sqq. 

* Eudoxi ars astronomica^ qualis 
in charta Aegyptiaca super tst, ed. 
F. Blass (Kiliae, 1887), p. 14, oZ & 
*col ol lepoypafifj^aTfa] 
raw /card, <re\1i[v]ij[v'] i]iJ>["\- 
Ayowri jraySrjfJ[i]Kas ^[op]ras 
(if &o/tf[<r0]i7 rA te /cara- 
Kal nwbs ivaroXty /cai ff\t)V(ua, 



AJlyvirTtw. This statement of 
Eudoxus or of one of his pupils is 

important, since it definitely proves 
that, besides the shifting festivals of 
the shifting official year, the Egyptians 
celebrated other festivals, which were 
dated by direct observation of natural 
phenomena, namely, the annual inun- 
dation, the rise of Sirius, and the 
phases of the moon. The same dis- 
tinction of the fixed from the movable 
festivals is indicated in one of the 
Hibeh papyri, but the passage is un- 
fortunately mutilated. See The Hibeh 
Papyri ', part L, edited by B. P. Gren- 
fell and A. S. Hunt (London, 1906), 
pp. 145, 151 (pointed out to me by 
my friend Mr. W. Wyse). The 
annual festival in honour of Ptolemy 
and Berenice was fixed on the day of 
the rising of Sirius. See the Canopic 
decree, in W. Dittenberger's Orientis 
Graed Inscriptiones Selectae^ No. 56 
(vol. i. pp. 1 02 sq.}. 

The rise of Sirius was carefully 
observed by the islanders of Ceos, in 
the Aegean. They watched for it 
with arms in their hands and sacrificed 
on the mountains to the star, drawing 
from its aspect omens of the salubrity 
or unhealthiness of the' coming year. 
The sacrifice was believed to secure the 
advent of the cool North winds (the 
Etesian winds as the Greeks call 
them), which regularly begin to blow 
about this time of the year, and miti- 
gate the oppressive heat of summer in 
the Aegean. See Apollonius Rhodius, 
Argon. iL 516-527, with the notes of 
the Scholiast on vv. 498, 526 ; Theo- 
phrastus, DC ventz's, ii. 14 ; Clement 
of Alexandria, Strom, vi. 3. 29, p. 753, 
ed. Potter; Nonnus, Dionys. v. 269- 
279 ; Hyginus, Astronomica, ii. 4 ; 
Cicero, De dimnatiom, L 57. 130; 
M. P. Nilsson, Griechische Feste 
(Leipsic, 1906), pp. 6*8; C Net** 

The rising 
of Sirius 
the begin- 
ning of 
the sacred 


first day of the first month Thoth was theoretically supposed 

to date from the heliacal rising of the bright star, and in all 

probability it really did so when the official or civil year of 

three hundred and sixty-five days was first instituted. But 

the miscalculation which has been already explained 1 had 

the effect of making the star to shift its place in the calendar 

by one day in four years. Thus if Sirius rose on the first 

of Thoth in one year, it would rise on the second of Thoth 

four years afterwards, on the third of Thoth eight years 

afterwards, and so on until after the lapse of a Siriac or 

Sothic period of fourteen hundred and sixty solar years the 

first of Thoth again coincided with the heliacal rising of 

Sirius. 8 This observation of the gradual displacement of 

maim und J. Partsch, Physikalisclu 
Geographic von Griechcnland (Breslau, 
1885), pp. 96 sqq. On the top of 
Mount Pelion in Thessaly there was a 
sanctuary of Zeus, where sacrifices were 
offered at the rising of Sirius, in the 
height of the summer, by men of rank, 
who were chosen by the priest and 
wore fresh sheep-skins. See [Dicae- 
archusj "Descriptio Graeciae," Geo- 
grophi Grata. Minor es^ ed. C. Miiller, 
i 107 ; ffistericorum Graecarum frag- 
menta, ed. C. M tiller, ii. 262. 
1 Above, pp. 24 sq. 
1 We know from Censorinus (De die 
natati, XXL 10) that the first of Thoth 
coincided with the heliacal rising of 
Sinus on July 20 (Julian calendar) in 
the year 139 A.D. ence reckoning 
backwards by Sothic periods of 1460 
solar years we may infer that Sirius 
rose on July 20th (Julian calendar) in 
the years 1321 B.C, 2781 B.C., and 
4241 B.C. ; and accordingly that the 
cM or vague Egyptian year of 365 
days was instituted in one of these 
years. In iavoar of supposing that it 
was instituted either in 2781 B.C. or 
4241 B.C, it may be said that in both 
these years the rising of Sirius nearly 

summer solstice and 

the rising of the Nik ; whereas in the 
year 1321 B.C the summer solstice, 
sd with it the rising of the Nile, fell 
nineteen days before the rising of Sirius 
wrf the first of Thoth. Now when we 



which the Egyptians traced between 
the rising of Sirius and the rising of 
the Nile, it seems probable that they 
started die new calendar on the first 
of Thoth in a year in which the two 
natural phenomena coincided rather 
than in one in which they diverged 
from each other by nineteen days. 
Prof. Ed. Meyer decides in favour of 
the year 4241 B.C. as the date of the 
introduction of the Egyptian calendar 
on the ground that the calendar was 
already well known in the Old King- 
dom. See L. Ideler, op. cit. i. 125 
sqq. ; F. K. Ginzel, op. cit. i. 192 sqq. ; 
Ed. Meyer, "Nachtrage zur agyp- 
tischen Chronologic," Abhandlungcn 
der konigl. Preuss. Akademie der 
Wissenschaften^ 1907 (Berlin, 1908), 
pp. li sq. ; id, Geschichte des Alter- 
turns* L 2. pp. 28 sqq -I 98 sqq. 
When the fixed Alexandrian year was 
introduced in 30 B.C. (see above, pp. 
27 sq.} the first of Thoth fell on 
August 29, which accordingly was 
thenceforth reckoned the first day of 
the year in the Alexandrian calendar. 
See L. Ideler, op. cit. i 153 sqq. The 
period of 1460 solar or 1461 movable 
Egyptian years was variously called a 
Sothic period (Clement of Alexandria, 
Strom. L 21. 136, p. 401 ed. Potter), 
a Canicular year (from Canicula, " the 
Dog-star," that is, Sirius), a heliacal 
year, and a year of God (Censorinus, 
Dt die natali, xviii 10). But there is 
no evidence or probability that the 

CHAP. Ill 



the star in the calendar has been of the utmost importance 
for the progress of astronomy, since it led the Egyptians 
directly to the determination of the approximately true 
length of the solar year and thus laid the basis of our 
modern calendar ; for the Julian calendar, which we owe 
to Caesar, was founded on the Egyptian theory, though not 
on the Egyptian practice. 1 It was therefore a fortunate 
moment for the world when some pious Egyptian, thousands 
of years ago, identified for the first time the bright star of 
Sirius with his goddess ; for the identification induced his 
countrymen to regard the heavenly body with an attention 
which they would never have paid to it if they had known 
it to be nothing but a world vastly greater than our own 
and separated from it by an inconceivable, if not immeasur- 
able, abyss of space. 

The cutting of the dams and the admission of the water 

The obser- 
vation of 
the gradual 
ment of 
Sirius in 
the calen- 
dar led to 
the deter- 
of the true 
length of 
the solar 

period was recognized by the Egyptian 
astronomers who instituted the mov- 
able year of 365 days. Rather, as 
Ideler pointed out (op. cit. i. 132), it 
must have been a later discovery based 
on continued observations of the heliacal 
rising of Sirius and of its gradual dis- 
placement through the whole length of 
the official calendar. Brugsch, indeed, 
went so far as to suppose that the 
period was a discovery of astronomers 
of the second century A.D., to which 
they were led by the coincidence of 
the first of Thoth with the heliacal 
rising of Sirius in 139 A.D. (Die 
Agyptologiei p. 357). But the dis- 
covery, based as it is on a very simple 
calculation (365 X 4 = 1460), could 
hardly fail to be made as soon as 
astronomers estimated the length of 
the solar year at 36 5 J days, and that 
they did so at least as early as 238 B.C. 
is proved conclusively by the Canopic 
decree. See above, pp. 25 Jy., 27. As to 
the Sothic period see further R. Lepsius, 
Die Chronologie der Aegypter> i. 165 
sqq. ; F. K. Ginzel, op. cit. i. 187 sqq. 
For the convenience of the reader I 
subjoin a table of the Egyptian months, 
with their dates, as these fell, (i) in a 
year when the first of Thoth coincided 
with July 20 of the Julian calendar, 
and (2) in the fixed Alexandrian year. 



Sothic Year 
July 20 


i Thoth . 

20 July . 

29 August 

i Phaophi 

19 August 

28 September 

x Athyr . 

x8 September 

28 October 

x Khoiak 

18 October . 

27 November 

i Tybi . 

17 November 

27 December 

x Mechir 

17 December . 

26 January 

x Phamenoth 
x Fharmuthi 

16 January . 
15 February . 

25 February 
27 March 

x Pachon 

17 March 

26 April 

i Payni . 

16 April . . 

26 May 

x Epiphi . 

16 May . 

25 June 

x Mesori . 
x Supplement 

15 Tune . 
15 July . . 

35 July 
24 August 

ary day 

See L. Ideler, op. cit. i. 143 sq. ; 
F. K. Ginzel, op. cit. i. 200. 

1 The Canopic decree (above, p. 
27) suffices to prove that the 
Egyptian astronomers, long before 
Caesar's time, were well acquainted 
with the approximately exact length of 
the solar year, although they did not 
use their knowledge to correct the 
calendar except for a short time in the 
reign of Ptolemy Euergetes. With 
regard to Caesar's debt to the Egyptian 
astronomers see Dio Cassius, xliii. 26 ; 
Macrobius, Saturn, i. 14. 3, i 1 6. 39 ; 
L. Ideler, Handbuch dermathctnatische* 
und Uchnischen Chronologic^ i. 1 66 


Ore- into the canals and fields is a great event in the Egyptian 

"b^ed in 5 rean At Cairo the operation generally takes place between 

Egypt at the sixth and the sixteenth of August, and till lately was 

of the""* 8 attended by ceremonies which deserve to be noticed, because 

dams early they were probably handed down from antiquity. An 

ugus . anc j ent ^21, known by the name of the Khah'j, formerly 

passed through the native town of Cairo. Near its entrance 

the canal was crossed by a dam of earth, very broad at 

the bottom and diminishing in breadth upwards, which used 

to be constructed before or soon after the Nile began to 

rise. In front of the dam, on the side of the river, was 

reared a truncated cone of earth called the 'arooseh or 

The Bride "bride," on the top of which a little maize or millet was 

of the Nile. genera ijy sown This b r ide w was commonly washed down 

by the rising tide a week or a fortnight before the cutting 
of the dam. Tradition runs that the old custom was to 
deck a young virgin in gay apparel and throw her into 
the river as a sacrifice to obtain a plentiful inundation. 1 
Certainly human sacrifices were offered for a similar purpose 

savages at b 7 the Wajagga of German East Africa down to recent 

the cutting years. These people irrigate their fields by means of skil- 

Of flams, i 

tully constructed channels, through which they conduct the 
water of the mountain brooks and rivers to the thirsty land 
They imagine that the spirits of their forefathers dwell 
in the rocky basins of these rushing streams, and that they 
would resent the withdrawal of the water to irrigate the 
fields if compensation were not offered to them. The 
water-rate paid to them consisted of a child, uncircumcised 
and of unblemished body, who was decked with ornaments 
and bells and thrown into the river to drown, before they 
Witoed to draw off the water into the irrigation channel. 
Havmg thrown him in, his executioners shewed a clean 
pair of beds, because they expected the river to rise in flood 
orace on receipt of the water-rate. 2 In similar circum- 

f British East Africa sacri fi ce a sheep 
they let the water of the stream flow into the ditch 

*Brnno Gutmann, " Fddbavuntten 
Wachstumsbrfache der Wads. 
"." Zaiscknfi fur 
(J9I3) PP. 484 tq. 


or artificial channel. The fat, dung, and blood of the 
animal are sprinkled at the mouth of the ditch and in 
the water ; thereupon the dam is broken down and the 
stream pours into the ditch. The sacrifice may only be 
offered by a man of the II Mayek clan, and for two days 
afterwards he wears the skin of the beast tied round his 
head. No one may quarrel with this man while the water 
is irrigating the crops, else the people believe that the water 
would cease to flow in the ditch ; more than that, if the 
men of the II Mayek clan were angry and sulked for ten 
days, the water would dry up permanently for that season. 
Hence the II Mayek cl#n enjoys great consideration in the 
tribe, since the crops are thought to depend on their good 
will and good offices. Ten elders assist at the sacrifice of 
the sheep, though they may take no part in it They must 
all be of a particular age; and after the ceremony they 
may not cohabit with their wives until harvest, 'and they are 
obliged to sleep at night in their granaries. Curiously enough, 
too, while the water is irrigating the fields, nobody may kill 
waterbuck, eland, oryx, zebra, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus. 
Anybody caught red-handed in the act of breaking this game- 
law would at once be cast out of the village. 1 

Whether the " bride " who used to figure at the ceremony Modern 
of cutting the dam in Cairo was ever a live woman or not, E *yP tian 

.*.,..-. . ' ceremony 

tne intention of the practice appears to have been to marry at the 
the river, conceived as a male power, to his bride the corn- JS* 1 * of 

i j t . , * ' tne dams. 

land, which was soon to be fertilized by his water. The 
ceremony was therefore a charm to ensure the growth of the 
crops. As such it probably dated, in one form or another, 
from ancient times. Dense crowds assembled to witness 
the cutting of the dam. The operation was performed 
before sunrise, and many people spent the preceding night 
on the banks of the canal or in boats lit with lamps on the 
river, while fireworks were displayed and guns discharged 
at frequent intervals. Before sunrise a great number of 
workmen began to cut the dam, and the task was accom- 
plished about an hour before the sun appeared on the 

1 Hon. K. R. Dundas, " Notes Journal of the Royal Anthropological 
on the tribes inhabiting the Baringo Institute, xl. (1910) p. 54. 
District, East Africa Protectorate," 


horizon. When only a thin ridge of earth remained, a boat 

with an officer on board was propelled against it, and 

breaking through the slight barrier descended with the rush 

of water into the canal. The Governor of Cairo flung a 

purse of gold into the boat as it passed. Formerly the 

custom was to throw money into the canal. The populace 

used to dive after it, and several lives were generally lost 

in the scramble. 1 This practice also would seem to have 

been ancient, for Seneca tells us that at a place called 

the Veins of the Nile, not far from Philae, the priests used 

to cast money and offerings of gold into the river at a 

festival which apparently took place at the rising of the 

water. 2 At Cairo the time-honoured ceremony came to an 

end in 1897, when the old canal was filled up. An electric 

tramway now runs over the spot where for countless ages 

crowds of worshippers or holiday-makers had annually 

assembled to witness the marriage of the Nile. 8 

3. Rites of Sowing 

The next great operation of the agricultural year in 
Egypt is the sowing of the seed in November, when the 
water of the inundation has retreated from the fields. With 
the Egyptians, as with many peoples of antiquity, the com- 
mitting of the seed to the earth assumed the character of 
a solemn and mournful rite. On this subject I will let 
Plutarch speak for himself. " What," he asks, " are we to 
make of the gloomy, joyless, and mournful sacrifices, if it is 
wrong either to omit the established rites or to confuse and 
of sowing, disturb our conceptions of the gods by absurd suspicions ? 
For the Greeks also perform many rites which resemble 
those of the Egyptians and are observed about the same 
time. Thus at the festival of the Thesmophoria in Athens 

PP* 500-504; is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus 
7%, Matins of (i. 36. 3), and "the festival on that 

v' I9 6) p P* OS * 51011 ( Kara X unfr>t) is noticed 
to the latter writer, by Eudoxus (or one of his pupils) 
was thrown into the in a passage which has already been 


Tiie catting of the dams * Sir Auckland Colvin, /.,. 



women sit on the ground and fast And the Boeotians 
open the vaults of the Sorrowful One, 1 naming that festival 
sorrowful because Demeter is sorrowing for the descent of 
the Maiden. The month is the month of sowing about the 
setting of the Pleiades. 2 The Egyptians call it Athyr, the 
Athenians Pyanepsion, the Boeotians the month of Demeter. 
Theopompus informs us that the western peoples consider 
and call the winter Cronus, the summer Aphrodite, and the 
spring Persephone, and they believe that all things are 
brought into being by Cronus and Aphrodite. The 
Phrygians imagine that the god sleeps in winter and wakes 
in summer, and accordingly they celebrate with Bacchic 
rites the putting him to bed in winter and his awakening in 
summer. The Paphlagonians allege that he is bound fast 
and shut up in winter, but that he stirs and is set free in 
spring. And the season furnishes a hint that the sadness is The sad- 
for the hiding of those fruits of the earth which the ancients 
esteemed, not indeed gods, but great and necessary gifts 
bestowed by the gods in order that men might not lead the 
life of savages and of wild beasts. For it was that time of 
year when they saw some of the fruits vanishing and failing 
"from the trees, while they sowed others grudgingly and with 
difficulty, scraping the earth with their hands and huddling 
it up again, on the uncertain chance that what they deposited 
in the ground would ever ripen and come to maturity. Thus 
they did in many respects like those who bury and mourn 
their dead. And just as we say that a purchaser of Plato's 
books purchases Plato, or that an actor who plays the 
comedies of Menander plays Menander, so the men of old 
did not hesitate to call the gifts and products of the gods by 
the names of the gods themselves, thereby honouring and 
glorifying the things on account of their utility. But in 

1 Tip 'Azotes. Plutarch derives the * In antiquity the Pleiades set at 

name from AX*> "pain," "grief." dawn about the end of October or 

But the etymology is uncertain. It early in November. See L. Ideler, 

has lately been proposed to derive the Handbuch der mathcmatischen und 

epithet from 6x/j, "nourishment." See technischen Chronologic, i. 242 ; Aug. 

M. P. Nilsson, Grieckische Festt Mommsen, Chronologic (Leipsic, 1883), 

(Leipsic, 1906), p. 326. As to the pp. 16, 27; G. F. Unger, "Zeit- 

vaults (/*yapa) of Demeter see Pau- rechnung der Griechen und Romer," in 

sanias, ix. 8. I ; Scholiast on Lucian, lwmJAv\\tf s Handbuch der klassischtn 

Dial. Mtretr. ii. pp. 275 sg. t ed. Altertvmywissnufhaft, i. 1 (Nordlingen, 

H. Rabe (Leipsic, 1906). 1886) pp. 558, 585. 


after ages simple folk in their ignorance applied to the gods 
statements which only held true of the fruits of the earth, 
and so they came not merely to say but actually to believe 
that the growth and decay of plants, on which they subsisted, 1 
were the birth and the death of gods. Thus they fell into 
absurd, immoral, and confused ways of thinking, though all 
the while the absurdity of the fallacy was manifest. Hence 
Xenophanes of Colophon declared that if the Egyptians 
deemed their gods divine they should not weep for them, 
and that if they wept for them they should not deem 
them divine. 'For it is ridiculous/ said he, 'to lament 
and pray that the fruits would be good enough to grow and 
ripen again in order that they may again be eaten and 
lamented. 1 But he was wrong, for though the lamentations 
are for the fruits, the prayers are addressed to the gods, as 
the causes and givers of them, that they would be pleased 
to make fresh fruits to spring up instead of those that 
perish." 2 
Plutarch's In this interesting passage Plutarch expresses his belief 

t^whip that the worshi P of tlie fru * ts * the earth was the resul * of 
of the a verbal misapprehension or disease of language, as it has 

t&e earth ^ Qn called by a modern school of mythologists, who explain 
*pg the origin of- myths in general on the same easy principle of 
metaphors misunderstood. Primitive man, on Plutarch's 
theory, firmly believed that the fruits of the earth on which 
he subsisted were not themselves gods but merely the gifts 
of the gods, who were the real givers of all good things. 
Yet at the same time men were in the habit of bestowing on 
these divine products the names of their divine creators, 
either out of gratitude or merely for the sake of brevity, as 
when we say that a man has bought a Shakespeare or acted 
Moliire, when we mean that he has bought the works of 
Shakespeare or acted the plays of Molifere. This abbreviated 
mode of expression was misunderstood in later times, and so 

1 Tis H-ttpwwJa* r&r foayicaiuv ical rest is in the heavy rain time, when, 

4r6c^eu. as he says, the god Vishnu goes to 

1 Fkterch, /sis et Osiris* 69- sleep, and does not wake till October 

71. With the sleep of the Phrygian is well advanced and the time has 

gods we may compart the sleep of come to begin cutting and crushing the 

Vishno. The tcih and anxieties of sugar-cane and boiling down the juice * 

&e Miwi former "are continuous, (W. Crooke, Natives of Northern 

ml his only period of comparative India, London, 1907, p. 159). 



people came to look upon the fruits of the earth as them- 
selves divine instead of as being the work of divinities : in 
short, they mistook the creature for the creator. In like 
manner Plutarch would explain the Egyptian worship of 
animals as reverence done not so much to the beasts them- 
selves as to the great god who displays the divine handiwork 
in sentient organisms even more than in the most beautiful 
and wonderful works of inanimate nature. 1 

The comparative study of religion has proved that these His theory 
theories of Plutarch are an inversion of the truth. Fetishism. . 1S an . 

1 inversion 

or the view that the fruits of the earth and things in general of the 
are divine or animated by powerful spirits, is not, as Plutarch 
imagined, a late corruption of a pure and primitive theism, is the 
which regarded the gods as the creators and givers of all 

good things. On the contrary, fetishism- is early and theism corruption, 
is late in the history of mankind. In this respect Xenophanes, e m ' 
whom Plutarch attempts to correct, displayed a much truer 
insight into the mind of the savage. To weep crocodile Lamenta- 
tears over the animals and plants which he kills and eats, * lons f f the 

0M* dit^* M\J\ 

and to pray them to come again in order that they may the animals 
be again eaten and again lamented this may seem absurd whtchfhe** 
to us, but it is precisely what the savage does. And from kills and 
his point of view the proceeding is not at all absurd but ** 
perfectly rational and well calculated to answer his ends. 
For he sincerely believes that animals and fruits are tenanted 
by spirits who can harm him if they please, and who cannot 
but be put to considerable inconvenience by that destruction 
of their bodies which is unfortunately inseparable from the 
processes of mastication and digestion. What more natural, 
therefore, than that the savage should offer excuses to the 
beasts and the fruits for the painful necessity he is under of 
consuming them, and that he should endeavour to alleviate 
their pangs by soft words and an air of respectful sympathy, 
in order that they may bear him no grudge, and may in due 
time come again to be again eaten and .again lamented ? 
Judged by the standard of primitive manners the attitude of 
the walrus to the oysters was strictly correct : 

1 Plutarch, Isiset Osiris, 77. 


Ui J weep for you* the Walrus said: 

* / deeply sympathise? 
With sobs and tears he sorted out 

Those of the largest size^ 
Holding his pocket-handkerchief 
Before his streaming eyes." 

Respect Many examples of such hypocritical lamentations for 

shown by am ' ma i s drawn not from the fancy of a playful writer but 

savages * 

for the from the facts of savage life, could be cited. 1 Here I 

tteanfmais shail ^ uote the g enera ' statement of a writer on the Indians 
which of British Columbia, because it covers the case of vegetable 
tf as well as of animal food. After describing the respectful 
welcome accorded by the Stlatlum Indians to the first 
** sock-eye w salmon which they have caught in the season, 
he goes on : " The significance of these ceremonies is easy 
to perceive when we remember the attitude of the Indians 
towards nature generally, and recall their myths relating to 
the salmon, and their coming to their rivers and streams. 
Nothing that the Indian of this region eats is regarded by 
him as mere food and nothing more. Not a single plant, 
animal, or fish, or other object upon which he feeds, is 
looked upon in this light, or as something he has secured 
for himself by his own wit and skill. He regards it rather 
as something which has been voluntarily and compassionately 
placed in his hands by the goodwill and consent of the 
' spirit ' of the object itself, or by the intercession and magic 
of his culture-heroes ; to be retained and used by him only 
upon the fulfilment of certain conditions. These conditions 
include respect and reverent care in the killing or plucking 
of the animal or plant and proper treatment of .the parts he 
has no use for, such as the bones, blood, and offal ; and the 
depositing of the same in some stream or lake, so that the 
object may by that means renew its life and physical form. 
The practices in connection with the killing of animals and 
the gathering of plants and fruits all make this quite clear, 
and it is only when we bear this attitude of the savage 
towards nature in mind that we can hope to rightly under- 
stand the motives and purposes of many of his strange 
customs and beliefs/* * 

* S&ritoeftJuCemandoftlu Wild, I C. Hill Tout, "Report on the 
. 304 m- Ethnology of the Stlatlum Indians erf 

CHAP, in 


We can now understand why among many peoples of Thus the 
antiquity, as Plutarch tells us, the time of sowing was a JJJJT5" 
time of sorrow. The laying of the seed in the earth was the sower 
a burial of the divine element, and it was fitting that like a 
human burial it should be performed with gravity and the 
semblance, if not the reality, of sorrow. Yet they sorrowed 
not without hope, perhaps a sure and certain hope, that the 
seed which they thus committed with sighs and tears to 
the ground would yet rise from the dust and yield fruit a 
hundredfold to the reaper. " They that sow in tears shall 
reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing 
precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, 
bringing his sheaves with him." l 

4. Rites of Harvest 

The Egyptian harvest, as we have seen, falls not in Lamenta- 
autumn but in spring, in the months of March, April, and Jj^ 113 of 
May. To the husbandman the time of harvest, at least in a Egyptian 
good year, must necessarily be a season of joy : in bringing 
home his sheaves he is requited for his long and anxious 
labours. Yet if the old Egyptian farmer felt a secret joy 
at reaping and garnering the grain, it was essential that he 
should conceal the natural emotion under an air of profound 
dejection. For was he not severing the body of the corn- 
god with his sickle and trampling it to pieces under the 
hoofs of his cattle on the threshing-floor ? 2 Accordingly we 
are told that it was an ancient custom of the Egyptian corn- 
reapers to beat their breasts and lament over the first sheaf 
cut, while at the same time they called upon Isis. 8 The 
invocation seems to have taken the form of a melancholy 
chant, to which the Greeks gave the name of Maneros. 
Similar plaintive strains were chanted by corn-reapers in 

British Columbia," Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, xxxv. (1905) 
pp. 140 sq. 

1 Psalm cxxvi. 5 sq. Firmicus 
Maternus asks the Egyptians (De 
trrore profanarum religionum^ ii. 7), 
M Cur plangitis fruges terrcte et ere- 
tcentia lugetis semina ? " 

2 As to the Egyptian modes of 
reaping and threshing see Sir J. 
Gardiner Wilkinson, Manners and 
Customs of the Ancient Egyptians 
(London, 1878), ii. 4x9 sqq\ A. 
Erman, Aegypten und aegyptiscku 
. Leben im A&ertum, pp. 572 sqq. 

' Diodorus Siculus, i. 14. 2. 


Phoenicia and other parts of Western Asia. 1 Probably all 
these doleful ditties were lamentations for the corn -god 
killed by the sickles of the reapers. In Egypt the slain 
deity was Osiris, and the name Maneros applied to the dirge 
appears to be derived from certain words meaning " Come 
to thy house," which often occur in the lamentations for the 
dead god. 2 

Similar Ceremonies of the same sort have been observed by 

ceremonies ot k er peoples, probably for the same purpose. Thus we are 
by the told that among all vegetables corn (selu}, by which is 
apparently meant maize, holds the first place in the house- 

in the hold economy and the ceremonial observance of the 
oduratkm Cherokee Indians, who invoke it under the name of " the 
*. Old Woman " in allusion to a myth that it sprang from 
the blood of an old woman killed by her disobedient sons. 
" Much ceremony accompanied the planting and tending of 
the crop. Seven grains, the sacred number, were put into 
each hill, and these were not afterwards thinned out After 
the last working of the crop, the priest and an assistant 
generally the owner of the field went into the field and 
built a small enclosure in the centre. Then entering it, 
they seated themselves upon the ground, with heads bent 
down, and while the assistant kept perfect silence the priest, 
with rattle in hand, sang songs of invocation to the spirit of 
the corn. Soon, according to the orthodox belief, a loud 
rustling would be heard outside, which they would know 
was caused by the 'Old Woman' bringing the corn into the 
field, but neither must look up until the song was finished. 
This ceremony was repeated on four successive nights, after 

for t i_ jt_/^tir o 

her death, w lcn no one entered the field for seven other nights, when 
the priest himself went in, and, if all the sacred regulations 
had been properly observed, was rewarded by finding young 
ears upon the stalks. The corn ceremonies could be per- 
formed by the owner of the field himself, provided he was 
willing to pay a sufficient fee to the priest in order to learn 
the songs and ritual Care was always taken to keep a 

1 Herodotus, ii 79 ; Julius Pollux, * H. Brogsch, Adonisklage und 
Ir. $4 1 P*a$amas ix. 29, 7; Athe- Linoslied (Berlin, 1852), p. 24, cor- 
adv. n if., pp. 618-620. As to rected by A* Wiedemann, Herodott 

? e ***** $*** * m *** wtfA*,p.33. Astothelamen- 
* *H W tatloas for Osiris see above, p. 12. 


clean trail from the field to the house, so that the corn 
might be encouraged to stay at home and not go wandering 
elsewhere. Most of these customs have now fallen into dis- 
use excepting among the old people, by many of whom 
they are still religiously observed. Another curious ceremony, 
of which even the memory is now almost forgotten, was 
enacted after the first working of the corn, when the owner 
or priest stood in succession at each of the four corners of 
the field and wept and wailed loudly. Even the priests are 
now unable to give a reason for this performance, which may 
have been a lament for the bloody death of Selu," the Old 
Woman of the Corn. 1 In these Cherokee practices the 
lamentations and the invocations of the Old Woman of 
the Corn resemble the ancient Egyptian customs of lament- 
ing over the first corn cut and calling upon Isis, herself 
probably in one of her aspects an Old Woman of the Corn. 
Further, the Cherokee precaution of leaving a clear path 
from the field to the house resembles the Egyptian invitation 
to Osiris, "Come to thy house." So in the East Indies 
to this day people observe elaborate ceremonies for the 
purpose of bringing back the Soul of the Rice from the 
fields to the barn. 2 The Nandi of British East Africa per- 
form a ceremony in September when the eleusine grain is 
ripening. Every woman who owns a plantation goes out 
with her daughters into the cornfields and makes a bonfire 
of the branches and leaves of certain trees (the Solatium 
campylanthum and Lantana salvifolia). After that they pluck 
some of the eleusine, and each of them puts one grain in her 
necklace, chews another and rubs it on her forehead, throat, 
and breast. " No joy is shown by the womenfolk on this 
occasion, and they sorrowfully cut a basketful of the corn 
which they take home with them and place in the loft to 
dry." 3 

Just as the Egyptians lamented at cutting the corn, 
so the Karok Indians of California lament at hewing the 

1 J. Mooney, "Myths of the of the crop " and '< the first working of 

Cherokee," Nineteenth Annual Re- the corn." 

port of the Bureau of American 2 Spirits of the Com and of the 

Ethnology (Washington, 1900), pp. Wild, i. 1 80 sqq* 
423 sq. I do not know what precisely * A. C Hollis, The Nandi (Oxford, 

the writer means by "the last working 1909), p. 46. 


Lament*- sacred wood for the fire in the assembly-room. The 
*k^ at wood must be cut from a tree on the top of the highest 
cutting hill. In lopping off the boughs the Indian weeps and 
sobs piteously, shedding real tears, and at the top of the 
tree he leaves two branches and a top -knot, resembling 
a man's head and outstretched arms. Having descended 
from the tree, he binds the wood in a faggot and carries 
it back to the assembly-room, blubbering all the way. 
If he is asked why he thus weeps at cutting and fetching the 
sacred fuel, he will either give no answer or say simply that 
he does it for luck. 1 We may suspect that his real motive 
is to appease the wrath of the tree-spirit, many of whose 
limbs he has amputated, though he took care to leave him 
two arms and a head. 

The conception of the corn-spirit as old and dead at 
harvest is very clearly embodied in a custom observed bv 

of burying ' 

the Arabs of Moab. When the harvesters have nearly 
finished their task and only a small corner of the field 
remains to be reaped, the owner takes a handful of wheat 
tied up in a sheaf. A hole is dug in the form of a grave, 
and two stones are set upright, one at the head and the 
other at the foot, just as in an ordinary burial. Then the 
sheaf of wheat is laid at the bottom of the grave, and 
the sheikh pronounces these words, " The old man is dead." 
Earth is afterwards thrown in to cover the sheaf, with a 
prayer, " May Allah bring us back the wheat of the dead." 2 

1 S. Powers, Tribes of California Revue Bibttque, i avril 1903, p. 258; 
(Washington, 1877), p. 25. , Coutumcs des Arabes au pays cU 

* A. Jaussen, "Coutumes Arabes," Moab (Paris 1908), pp. 252 sq. 



I. The Festival at Sais 

SUCH, then, were the principal events of the farmer's calendar with the 
in ancient Egypt, and such the simple religious rites by jf^aAJ^a. 
which he celebrated them. But we have still to consider andrian 
the Osirian festivals of the official calendar, so far as these ^Lc! the 
are described by Greek writers or recorded on the monu- Egyptian 

T A.I~ *. j. i~ - J festivals 

ments. In examining them it is necessary to bear in mind ceased to 
that on account of the movable year of the old Egyptian r ^ t u e , 
calendar the true or astronomical dates of the official festivals the natural 
must have varied from year to year, at least until the adoption 
of the fixed Alexandrian year in 30 B.C. From that time 
onward, apparently, the dates of the festivals were deter- 
mined by the new calendar, and so ceased to rotate 
throughout the length of the solar year. At all events 
Plutarch, writing about the end of the first century, implies 
that they were then fixed, not movable ; for though he 
does not mention the Alexandrian calendar, he clearly dates 
the festivals by it. 1 Moreover, the long festal calendar of 

1 Thus with regard to the Egyptian 
month of Athyr he tells us that the sun 
was then in the sign of the Scorpion 
(fszs et Osiris^ 13), that Athyr cor- 
responded to the Athenian month 
Pyanepsion and the Boeotian month 
Damatrius (op. cit. 69), that it was the 
month of sowing (#.) that in it the 
Nile sank, the earth was laid bare by 
the retreat of the inundation, the leaves 
fell, and the nights grew longer than 
the days (op. cit. 39). These indica- 
tions agree on the whole with the date 

of Athyr in the Alexandrian calendai 
namely October 28 -November 26. 
Again, be says (op. cit. 43) that the 
festival of the beginning of spring was 
held at the new moon of the month 
Phamenoth, which, in the Alexandrian 
calendar, corresponded to February 24- 
March 26. Further, he tells us that a 
festival was celebrated on the 23rd of 
Fhaophi after the autumn equinox 
(op. cit. 52), and in the Alexandrian 
calendar Phaophi began on September 
28, a few days after the autumn equinox* 



Esne, an important document of the Imperial age, is obvi- 
ously based on the fixed Alexandrian year ; for it assigns 
the mark for New Year's Day to the day which corresponds 
to the twenty-ninth of August, which was the first day of 
the Alexandrian year, and its references to the rising of the 
Nile, the position of the sun, and the operations of agricul- 
ture are all in harmony with this supposition. 1 Thus we 
may take it as fairly certain that from 30 B.C. onwards the 
Egyptian festivals were stationary in the solar year. 

Herodotus tells us that the grave of Osiris was at Sais in 
sulferin & s Lower Egypt, and that there was a lake there upon which the 

of Osiris , . *P , , j- i j ^ i -1^2 

displayed sufferings of the ;jod were displayed as a mystery by night. 2 
** a This commemoration of the divine passion was held once a 


at Sais. year: the people mourned and beat their breasts at it to testify 
their sorrow for the death of the god ; and an image of a cow, 
made of gilt wood with a golden sun between its horns, was 
carried out of the chamber in which it stood the rest of the 
year. 8 The cow no doubt represented Isis herself, for cows 
were sacred to her, and she was regularly depicted with the 
horns of a cow on her head, 4 or even as a woman with the 
head of a cow. It is probable that the carrying out of her cow- 
shaped image symbolized the goddess searching for the dead 
body of Osiris ; for this was the native Egyptian interpretation 
of a similar ceremony observed in Plutarch's time about the 
winter solstice, when the gilt cow was carried seven times 
round the temple. 6 A great feature of the festival was the 

Once more, he observes that another 
festival was held after the spring 
equinox (*/. cit m 65), which implies 
the use of a fixed solar year. See 
G, Partbey in his edition of Plutarch's 
/sis et Osiris (Berlin, 1850), pp. 165- 
1 H. Bragsch, Du Agyptelegie t p. 


* Herodotus, it 170. 

1 Herodotus, ii. 129-152. 

* Herodotus, ii. 41, with Prof. A. 

note (fftrvd&ts sweitts 
pp. 187 i,) ; Diodorus 

L n. 4 ; Aelian, Zte natura 
malium, at. 27; Ptotarch, Isis et 
Osiris, 19 and 39. According to 
Prof. Wiedemann "the Egyptian 
of the cow of Isis was fas-t^ and 

this is one of the rare cases in which 
the name of the sacred animal agrees 
with that of the deity." Hest was th 
usual Egyptian form of the name 
which the Greeks and Romans repre- 
sented as Isis. See R. V. Lanzone, 
Dizionario di Mitologia Egizia, pp. 
813 sqg. 

6 In this form she is represented on 
& relief at Philae pouring a libation in 
honour of the soul of Osiris. See 
E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 
Egyptian Resurrection^ 3. 8. She is 
similarly portrayed in a bronze statu- 
ette, which is now in the Louvre. 
See G, Perrot et Ch. Chipiez, Histoire 
de FArt dans V Antiquity i. (Paris, 
1882) p. 60, fig. 40. 

* Plutarch, Isis et Osiris t $2. The 



nocturnal illumination. People fastened rows of oil-lamps The 
to the outside of their houses, and the lamps burned all ^^JJ*" 
night long. The custom was not confined to Sais, but was houses 
observed throughout the whole of Egypt. 1 Egypf on*' 

This universal illumination of the houses on one night the night 
of the year suggests that the festival may have been a com- festival 
rnemoration not merely of the dead Osiris but of the dead suggests 
in general, in other words, that it may have been a night of rite was a 
All Souls. 2 For it is a widespread belief that the souls of 
the dead revisit their old homes on one night of the year ; 
and on that solemn occasion people prepare for the recep- 
tion of the ghosts by laying out food for them to eat, and 
lighting lamps to guide them on their dark road from and to 
the grave. The following instances will illustrate the custom. 

All Souls, 

2. Feasts of All Souls 

The Esquimaux of St. Michael and the lower Yukon Annual 
River in Alaska hold a festival of the dead every year at ^dea 
the end of November or the beginning of December, as among 
well as a greater festival at intervals of several years. At 
these seasons, food, drink, and clothes are provided for the 
returning ghosts in the kashim or clubhouse of the village, 
which is illuminated with oil lamps. Every man or The light 
woman who wishes to honour a dead friend sets up a lamp 
on a stand in front of the place which the deceased used to 
occupy in the clubhouse. These lamps, filled with seal oil, 
are kept burning day and night till the festival is over. 
They are believed to light the shades on their return to 

dead * 

interpretation is accepted by Prof. A. 
Wiedemann (Herodots zweites Buck, 
p. 482). 

* Herodotus, ii. 62. In one of the 
Hiheh papyri (No. 27, lines 165-167) 
mention is made of the festival and of 
the lights which were burned through- 
out the district. See The Hibeh Papyri^ 
part i., ed. B. P. Grenfell and A. S. 
Hunt (London, 1906), p. 149 (pointed 
out to me by Mr. W. Wyse). In 
the papyrus the festival is said to have 
been held in honour of Athena (t.t. 
Neith), the great goddess of Sais, who 

was there identified with Isis. See 
A. Wiedemann, Die Religion der alien 
Agypter, pp. 77 sq.\ id. > Religion of 
the Ancient Egyptians > pp. 140 sq. 

2 In the period of the Middle King- 
dom the Egyptians of Siut used to 
light lamps for the dead on the last 
day and the first day of the year* See 
A. Ennan, <l Zehn Vortrage aus dem 
mittleren Reich," Zeitschrift jfir agyfr 
tisthe Spraehe vnd AUarthumshmde^ 
xx. (1882) p. 164; #- Aegypien und 
<iegyptisches Leben im AlUrtum^ pp. 

434 J?- 


their old home and back again to the land of the dead. If 
any one fails to put up a lamp in the clubhouse and to keep 
it burning, the shade whom he or she desires to honour 
could not find its way to the place and so would miss the 
Esquimaux feast On the eve of the festival the nearest male relation 
S 065 to the S rave and summons the ghost by planting there 
a small model of a seal spear or of a wooden dish, accord- 
ing as the deceased was a man or a woman. The badges 
of the dead are marked on these implements. When all is 
ready, the ghosts gather in the fire-pit under the clubhouse, 
and ascending through the floor at the proper moment take 
possession of the bodies of their namesakes, to whom the 
offerings of food, drink, and clothing are made for the benefit 
of the dead. Thus each shade obtains the supplies he needs 
in the other world. The dead who have none to make 
offerings to them are believed to suffer great destitution. 
Hence the Esquimaux fear to die without leaving behind 
them some one who will sacrifice to their spirits, and child- 
less people generally adopt children lest their shades should 
be forgotten at the festivals. When a person has been 
much disliked, his ghost is sometimes purposely ignored, 
and that is deemed the severest punishment that could be 
inflicted upon him. After the songs of invitation to the 
dead have been sung, the givers of the feast take a small 
portion of food from every dish and cast it down as an 
offering to the shades ; then each pours a little water on 
the floor so that it runs through the cracks. In this way 
they believe that the spiritual essence of all the food and 
water is conveyed to the souls. The remainder of the food 
is afterwards distributed among the people present, who eat 
of it heartily. Then with songs and dances the feast comes 
to an end, and the ghosts are dismissed to their own place. 
Dances form a conspicuous feature of the great festival of the 
dead, which is held every few years. The dancers dance not 
only in the clubhouse but also at the graves and on the ice, 
if the deceased met their death by drowning. 1 

The Indians of California used to observe annual cere- 

1 E,W,NeboB, "The Eskimo abont Part L (Washington, 1899) PP- 
Bering Strait/' Eighteenth Annual sqq. 
Rtp*rt $ tke Bureau of Ethnology > 



monies of mourning for the dead, 1 at some of which the souls Annual 
of the departed were represented by living persons. Ten ^'th 
or more men would prepare themselves to play the part of among the 
the ghosts by fasting for several days, especially by abstaining ^aiifo^ia. 
from flesh. Disguised with paint and soot, adorned with 
feathers and grasses, they danced and sang in the village or 
rushed about in the forest by night with burning torches in 
their hands. After a time they presented themselves to the 
relations of the deceased, who looked upon these maskers 
as in very truth their departed friends and received them 
accordingly with an outburst of lamentation, the old women 
scratching their own faces and smiting their breasts with 
stones in token of mourning. These masquerades were 
generally held in February. During their continuance a 
strict fast was observed in the village. 2 Among the Konkaus 
of California the dance of the dead is always held about the 
end of August and marks their New Year's Day. They 
collect a large quantity of food, clothing, baskets, ornaments, 
and whatever else the spirits are supposed to need in the 
other world. These they hang on a semicircle of boughs or 
small trees, cut and set in the ground leafless. In the 
centre burns a great fire, and hard by are the graves. The 
ceremony begins at evening and lasts till daybreak. As 
darkness falls, men and women sit on the graves and wail for 
the dead of the year. Then they dance round the fire with 
frenzied yells and whoops, casting from time to time the 
offerings into the flames. All must be consumed before the 
first faint streaks of dawn glimmer in the East. 3 The 
Choctaws used to have a great respect for their dead. They Annual 
did not bury their bodies but laid them on biers made of [^ a s d of 
bark and supported by forked sticks about fifteen feet high, among the 


1 S. Powers, Tribes of California deceased, mimicking their character- and Pueblo 

(Washington, 1877), PP- 328, 355, istic gait and gestures. Women and Indians. 

356, 384- children were supposed to take these 

8 Kostromitonow, *' Bemerkungen mummers for real ghosts. See A. C. 

iiber die Indianer in Ober-Kalifornien," Haddon, in Reports of the Cambridge 

in K. F. v. Baer and Gr. v. Helmer- Anthropological Expedition to Torres 

sen's Beitrage zur Kenntniss des rus- Straits, v. (Cambridge, 1904) pp. 252- 

sischen Reiches, i. (St. Petersburg, 1839) 256; The Belief in Immortality and 

pp. 88 Sf. The natives of the western the Worship of the Dead, i. 176 sg$. 
islands of Torres Straits used to hold a 

great death -dance at which disguised s S. Powers, Tribes of California, 

men personated the ghosts of the lately pp. 437 s#* 



When the worms had consumed the flesh, the skeleton was 

dismembered, any remains of muscles and sinews were 

buried, and the bones were deposited in a box, the skull 

being reddened with ochre. The box containing the bones 

was then carried to the common burial ground. In the 

early days of November the tribe celebrated a great festival 

which they called the Festival of the Dead or of the Souls ; 

every family then gathered in the common burial ground, 

and there with weeping and lamentation visited the boxes 

which contained the mouldering relics of their dead. On 

returning from the graveyard they held a great banquet, 

wjiich ended the festival. 1 Some of the Pueblo Indians 

of New Mexico " believe that on a certain day (in August, 

I think) the dead rise from their graves and flit about the 

neighbouring hills, and on that day all who have lost friends 

carry out quantities of corn, bread, meat, and such other good 

things of this life as they can obtain, and place them in the 

haunts frequented by the dead, in order that the departed 

spirits may once more enjoy the comforts of this nether 

world. They have been encouraged in this belief by the 

priests, who were in the habit of sending out and appropri- 

ating to themselves all these things, and then making the 

poor simple Indians believe that the dead had eaten 

them/' * 

The Miztecs of Mexico believed that the souls of the 
dead came back in the twelftl1 nionth of every year, which 

among the corresponded to our November. On this day of All Souls 
* the houses were decked out to welcome the spirits. Jars of 
food and drink were set on a table in the principal room, 
and the family went forth with torches to meet the ghosts 
and invite them to enter. Then returning themselves to the 
house they knelt around the table, and with eyes bent on 
the ground prayed the souls to accept of the offerings and 
to procure the blessings of the gods upon the family. Thus 
they remained on bended knees and with downcast eyes till 
the morning, not daring to look at the table lest they 

1 'Bossu, MwMaux Voyages catx United States (Philadelphia, 1853- 

Owlmtate (Paris, 1768), ii. 1856), iv. 78. The Pueblo village to 

i r e T i> > - T, ^ which *** writer Particularly refers is 

1 T, G. S. Ten Broeck, u H, K. Laguna. 
Schoolcraft's Indian Tribs tf the 



should offend the spirits by spying on them at their meal. 
With the first beams of the sun they rose, glad at heart 
The jars of food which had been presented to the dead were 
given to the poor or deposited in a secret place. 1 The 
Indians of Santiago Tepehuacan believe that the souls of 
their dead return to them on the night of the eighteenth of 
October, the festival of St. Luke, and they sweep the roads 
in order that the ghosts may find them clean on their 
passage. 2 

Again, the natives of Sumba, an East Indian island. Annual 

<^ ff *" T 4 

celebrate a New Year's festival, which is at the same time a 

festival of the dead. The graves are in the middle of the in Sumba 

village, and at a given moment all the people repair to them 
and raise a loud weeping and wailing. Then after indulging 
for a short time in the national pastimes they disperse to 
their houses, and every family calls upon its dead to come 
back. The ghosts are believed to hear and accept the 
invitation. Accordingly betel and areca nuts are set out 
for them. Victims, too, are sacrificed in front of every 
house, and their hearts and livers are offered with rice to 
the dead. After a decent interval these portions are distri- 
buted amongst the living, who consume them and banquet 
gaily on flesh and rice, a rare event in their frugal lives. 
Then they play, dance, and sing to their heart's content, and 
the festival which began so lugubriously ends by being the 
merriest of the year. A little before daybreak the invisible 
guests take their departure. All the people turn out of 
their houses to escort them a little way. Holding in one 
hand the half of a coco-nut, which contains a small packet 
of provisions for the dead, and in the other hand a piece of 
smouldering wood, they march in procession, singing a 
drawling song to the accompaniment of a gong and waving 
the lighted brands in time to the music. So they move 
through the darkness till with the last words of the song 

1 Brasseur de Bourbourg, Histoirc Indians of a great part of Mexico and 

des nations civilities du Mexique et de Central America (Brasseur de Bour- 

PAmerique- Central* (Paris, 1857- bourg, op, cit* iii. 24, note *). 
1859), iii. 23 sq t ; H. H. Bancroft, * " Lettre du cure de Santiago 

Native Races of the Pacific States Tepehuacan a son e*vque," Bulletin de 

(London, 1875-1876), ii. 623. Simi- la Socittt de Gtographie (Paris), IJ 

lar customs are still practised by the Se*rie, ii. (1834) p. 179. 


they throw away the coco-nuts and the brands in the 
direction of the spirit- land, leaving the ghosts to wend 
their way thither, while they themselves return to the 

village. 1 
Annual In Kiriwina, one of the Trobriand Islands, to the east 

festival of r ^ ew Guinea, the spirits of the ancestors are believed 

the dead in . ' . .,, . , , . 

to revisit their native village m a body once a year after 

the harvest has been got in. At this time the men perform 

special dances, the people openly display their valuables, 

spread out on platforms, and great feasts are made for 

the spirits. On a certain night, when the moon is at the 

full, all the people raise a great shout and so drive away 

Festival of the spirits to the spirit land. 2 The Sea Dyaks of Borneo 

the dead ce i e b ra t e a great festival in honour of the dead at irregular 

among tnc r 7 

Sea Dyaks intervals, it may be one or more years after the death 
of Borneo, Q j- a p art { cu i ar person. All who have died since the last 

feast was held, and have not yet been honoured by such 
a celebration, are remembered at this time ; hence the 
number of persons commemorated may be great, especially 
if many years have elapsed since the last commemoration 
service. The preparations last many weeks : food and 
drink and all other necessaries are stored in plenty, and 
the whole neighbourhood for miles round is invited to 
attend On the eve of the feast the women take bamboo 
splints and fashion out of them little models of various 
useful articles, and these models are hung over the graves 
for the use of the dead in the other world. If the feast 
is held in honour of a man, the things manufactured in 
his behoof will take the form of a bamboo gun, a shield, 
a war-cap, and so on ; if it is a woman who is commemor- 
ated, little models of a loom, a fish-basket, a winnowing-fan 
and such like things will be provided for her spirit ; and 
If it is a child for whom the rite is performed, toys of 
various kinds will be made ready for the childish ghost 
Finally, to stay the appetite of ghosts who may be too 
sharp-set to wait for lie formal banquet in the house, 

1 S. Roos, "Bprage tot de kennis 63-65. 

*an tatl, land en volk op het riland * Rev. S. B. Fellows, quoted by 

Soemba, M VerhaadtUngen va ket George Brown, D.D., Melantsians 

Gene&tsthap van Kvnsttn and Polynesians (London, 1910), p 

aoucvi (1873) pp. 237. 


a supply of victuals is very considerately placed outside 
the house on which the hungry spirits may fall to without 
delay. The dead arrive in a boat from the other world ; 
for living Dyaks generally travel by river, from which it 
necessarily follows that Dyak ghosts do so likewise. The 
ship in which the ghostly visitors voyage to the land of the 
living is not much to look at, being in appearance nothing 
but a tiny boat made out of a bamboo which has been used 
to cook rice. Even this is not set floating on the river 
but is simply thrown away under the house. Yet through 
the incantations uttered by the professional wailing-woman 
the bark is wafted away to the spirit world and is there 
converted into a large war-canoe. Gladly the ghosts 
embark and sail away as soon as the final summons comes. 
It always comes in the evening, for it is then that the waller 
begins to croon her mournful ditties ; but the way is so long 
that the spirits do not arrive in the house till the day is 
breaking. To refresh them after their weary journey a 
bamboo full of rice-spirit awaits them ; and this they par- 
take of by deputy, for a brave old man, who does not fear 
the face of ghosts, quaffs the beverage in their stead amid 
the joyful shouts of the spectators. On the morning after 
the feast the living pay the last offices of respect to the 
dead. Monuments made of ironwood, the little bamboo 
articles, and food of all kinds are set upon the graves. 
In consideration of these gifts the ghosts now relinquish 
all claims on their surviving relatives, and henceforth earn 
their own, living by the sweat of their brow. Before they 
take their final departure they come to eat and drink in the 
house for the last time. 1 

Thus the Dyak festival of the dead is not an annual Annual 
welcome accorded to all the souls of ancestors ; it is a festivsd rf 

... , . * the dead 

propitiatory ceremony designed to secure once for all the among tfat 
eternal welfare of the recently departed, or at least to pre- 
vent their ghosts from returning to infest and importune 
the living. The same is perhaps the intention of the " soul 
departure " (Kathi Kasham) festival which the Tangkul 

1 E. H. Gomes, Seventeen Years and briefer account of this festival sec 
among tht Sea Dyaks of Borneo (Lon- The Scapegoat, p. 154. 
don, 19 1 1 ), pp. 2 16-2 1 8. Tor another 


Nagas of Manipur, in Assam, celebrate every year about 
the end of January. At this great feast the dead are 
represented by living men, chosen on the ground of their 
likeness to the departed, who are decked with ornaments 
and treated as if they were in truth the deceased persons 
come to life again. In that character they dance together 
in the large open space of the village, they are fed by the 
female relations, and they go from house to house, receiving 
presents of cloth. The festival lasts ten days, but the great 
day is the ninth. Huge torches of pinewood are made 
ready to be used that evening when darkness has fallen. 
The time of departure of the dead is at hand. Their living 
representatives are treated to a last meal in the houses, 
and they distribute farewell presents to the sorrowing kins- 
folk, who have come to bid them good-bye. When the sun 
has set, a procession is formed. At the head of it march 
men holding aloft the flaring, sputtering torches. Then 
follow the eiders armed and in martial array, and behind 
them stalk the representatives of the dead, with the relations 
of the departed crowding and trooping about them. Slowly 
and mournfully the sad procession moves, with loud lamenta- 
tions, through the darkness to a spot at the north end of 
the village which is overshadowed by a great tree. The 
light of the torches is to guide the souls of the dead to their 
place of rest ; the warlike array of the elders is to guard 
them from the perils and dangers of the way. At the 
village boundary the procession stops and the torch-bearers 
throw down their torches. At the same moment the spirits 
of the dead are believed to pass into the dying flambeaux 
and in that guise to depart to the far country. There is 
therefore no further need for their living representatives, 
who are accordingly stripped of all their finery on the spot. 
When the people return home, each family is careful to 
light a pine torch and set it burning on a stone in the house 
just Inside the front door ; this they do as a precaution 
to prevent their own souls from following the spirits of the 
dead to the other world. The expense of thus despatching 
the dead to their long home is very great ; when the head 
of a family dies, debts may be incurred and rice -fields 
and bouses sold to defray the cost of carriage. Thus 




the living impoverish themselves in order to enrich the 

dead. 1 

The Oraons or Uraons of Bengal feast their dead every Annual 

year on a day in January. This ceremony is called the {jjf 1 ^^ 
Great Marriage, because by it the bones of the deceased among the 
are believed to be mysteriously reunited to each other. The Bengal f 
Oraons treat the bones of the dead differently according to 
the dates of their death in the agricultural year. The bones 
of those who died before the seeds have sprouted in the 
fields are burnt, and the few charred bones which have not 
been reduced to ashes are gathered in an earthen pot. 
With the bones in the pot are placed offerings of rice, 
native gin, and money, and then they carry the urn to 
the river, where the bones of their forefathers repose. But 
the bones of all who die after the seeds have sprung up 
and before the end of harvest may not be taken to the 
river, because the people believe that were that to be done 
the crops would suffer. These bones are therefore put 
away in a pot under a stone near the house till the harvest 
is over. Then on the appointed day in January they are 
all collected. A banquet is given in honour of the dead, and 
then both men and women form a procession to accompany 
the bones to their last resting-place in the sands of the river. 
But first the relics of mortality are carried from house to 
house in the village, and each family pours rice and gin into 
the urn which contains the bones of its dead. Then the pro- 
cession sets out for the river, men and women dancing, 
singing, beating drums, and weeping, while the earthen pots 
containing the bones are passed from hand to hand and 
dance with the jigging steps of the dancers. When they 
are yet some way from the spot, the bearers of the urns run 
forward and bury them in the sand of the river. When the 
rest come up, they all bathe and the Great Marriage is oven 2 

1 Rev. Wm. Pettigrew, "Kathi 
Kasham, the * Soul Departure ' feast 
as practised by the Tangkkul Nagas, 
Manipur, Assam," Journal and Pro- 
ceedings of the Asiatic Society of Ben- 
gal, N.S. vol. v. 1909 (Calcutta, 
1910), pp. 37-46; T. C. Hodson, 
TheNaga Tribes of Manipur (London, 
1911), pp. 153-158. 

2 Rev. P, Dehon, S.J., " Religion 
and Customs of the Uraons/' Memoirs 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal^ voL L 
No. 9 (Calcutta, 1906), p. 136. Com- 
pare Rev. F. Hahn, " Some Notes on 
the ^Religion and Superstition of the 
OraSs,* 1 ^Journal of the Asiatic Society if 
Bengal, hcxii. Part iii. (Calcutta, 1904) 
pp. 12 sq. According to the latter 


Annual, In the Bilaspore district of the Central Provinces, India, 

festival of t k e f es tival known as the Fortnight of the Manes Pitt 

tne ocftu in 

Pak occurs about September. It is believed that during 


this fortnight it is the practice of all the departed to come 
and visit their relatives. The homes are therefore cleaned, 
and the spaces in front of the house are plastered and painted 
in order to be pleasing to those who are expected. It is 
believed that the departed will return on the very date on 
which they went away. A father who left on the fourth, 
be it the fourth oi the dark half or the light half of the 
moon, will return to visit his family on the fourth of the 
Fortnight of the Manes. On that day cakes are prepared, 
and with certain ceremony these are offered to the unseen 
hovering spirit. Their implicit belief is that the spirit will 
partake of the essence of the food, and that which remains 
the material portion may be eaten by members of the 
family. The souls of women, it is said, will all come on the 
ninth of the fortnight. On the thirteenth come those who 
have met with a violent death and who lost their lives by a 
fall, by snake-bite, or any other unusual cause. During the 
Fortnight of the Manes a woman is not supposed to put on 
new bangles and a man is not permitted to shave. In 
short, this is a season of sad remembrances, an annual 
festival for the departed." 1 

The Bghais, a Karen tribe of Burma, hold an annual 
feast for the dead at the new moon which falls near the end 
f the of August or the beginning of September. All the villagers 
^T* y* have lost relatives within the last three years take part 
in it Food and drink are set out on tables for the ghosts, 
and new clothes for them are hung up in the room. All 
being ready, the people beat gongs and begin to weep. 
Each one calls upon the relation whom he has lost to come 
and eat When the dead are thought to have arrived, the 

writer the pots containing the relics 
of the dead we buried, not in the sand 
of the river, but in a pat, generally 
coveted with huge stones, which is dug 
far the purpose in some field or grove. 
* E, M. Gordon, Indian Folk Tales 
(London, 1908), p, 18. According to 
Mr. W. Crooke, the Hindoo Feast of 

Lamps (DiwAtt) seems to have been 
based on " the idea that on this night 
the spirits of the dead revisit their 
homes, which are cleaned and lighted 
for their reception." See W. Crooke, 
The Popular Religion and Folk-lore of 
Northern India (Westminster, 1896). 
ii. 295 sg. 



living address them, saying, " You have come to me, you 
have returned to me. It has been raining hard, and you 
must be wet. Dress yourselves, clothe yourselves with these 
new garments, and all the companions that are with you. 
Eat betel together with all that accompany you, all your 
friends and associates, and the long dead. Call them all to 
eat and drink." The ghosts having finished their repast, 
the people dry their tears and sit down to eat what is left. 
More food is then prepared and put into a basket, and at 
cock-crow next morning the contents of the basket are 
thrown out of the house, while the living weep and call 
upon their dead as before. 1 The Hkamies, a hill tribe of 
North Aracan, hold an important festival every year in 
honour of departed spirits. It falls after harvest and is 
called "the opening of the house of the dead." When a 
person dies and has been burnt, the ashes are collected and 
placed in a small house in the forest together with his spear 
or gun, which has first been broken. These little huts are 
generally arranged in groups near a village, and are some- 
times large enough to be mistaken for one. After harvest 
all the relations of the deceased cook various kinds of food 
and take them with pots of liquor distilled from rice to the 
village of the dead. There they open the doors of the 
houses, and having placed the food and drink inside they 
shut them again. After that they weep, eat, drink, and 
return home, 2 

The great festival of the dead in Cambodia takes place Annual 

^^ -f A* 1 

on the last day of the month Phatrabot (September- October), t e!dead ^ 
but ever since the moon began to wane everybody has been Cambodia, 
busy preparing for it. In every house cakes and sweet- 
meats are set out, candles burn, incense sticks smoke, and 
the whole is offered to the ancestral shades with an invoca- 
tion which is thrice repeated : " O all you our ancestors who 
are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared 

1 Rev. F. Mason, D.D., " Physical other respects the ceremonies are 

Character of the Karens," Journal of typical. 

the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1866, Part * R. F. St. Andrew St. John, "A 

ii. pp. 29 jy. Lights are not men- Short Account of the Hill Tribes of 

tioned by the writer, but the festival North Aracan, " Journal of the Antkr+> 

being nocturnal -we may assume that pological Jnstttute, ii. (1873) p. 238. 

they are used for the convenience of At this festival the dead are apparently 

the living as well as of the dead. In not supposed to return to the houses. 


for you, and to bless your posterity and make it happy." 
Fifteen days afterwards many little boats are made of bark 
and filled with rice, cakes, small coins, smoking incense 
sticks, and lighted candles. At evening these are set float- 
ing on the river, and the souls of the dead embark in them 
to return to their own place. The living now bid them 
farewell " Go to the lands," they say, " go to the fields 
you inhabit, to the mountains, under the stones which are 
your abodes. Go away ! return ! In due time your sons 
and your grandsons will think of you. Then you will 
return, you will return, you will return. 1 ' The river is now 
covered with twinkling points of fire. But the current soon 
bears them away, and as they vanish one by one in the 
darkness the souls depart with them to the far country. 1 
Annual In Tonquin, as in Sumba, the dead revisit their kinsfolk 

tifetedfo and their old nomes at the New Year * From the hour of 
Tonqmn. midnight, when the New Year begins, no one dares to shut 

the door of his house for fear of excluding the ghosts, who 
begin to arrive at that time. Preparations have been made 
to welcome and refresh them after their long journey. Beds 
and mats are ready for their weary bodies to repose upon, 
water to wash their dusty feet, slippers to comfort them, and 
canes to support their feeble steps. Candles burn on the 
domestic altar, and pastilles diffuse a fragrant odour. The 
people bow before the unseen visitors and beseech them to 
remember and bless their descendants in the coming year. 
Having discharged this pious duty they abstain from 'sweep- 
ing the houses for three days lest the dust should incom- 
mode the ghosts. 2 
Annual In Annam one of the most important festivals of the 

y** r is the fest * val of T&i whjch falls on the first three days 
of the New Year. It is devoted to the worship of ancestors. 
Everybody, even the poorest, must provide a good meal for 
the souls of his dead at this time and must himself eat and 

1 E. Aymoaier, Afcttte sur U Cam- superstitieuses des Cambodgicns," 

* (Pans, 1875), p. 59 ; A, Leclere, Coehinchine Franjaisc, Excursions ei 

Buddhisms at* Comtotfee (Paris, Reconnaissances, No. 16 (Saigon, 

9J pp. 374-376. The departure 1883), pp. 205 sg. 

of the sods is described only by the * Mariny, JRelatum nouvelU et cu- 

latter writer. Compare E. Aymonier, ruuse ties royaunus de Tunquin et cU 

** Notes *r ks cootuines et croyances La (Paris, 1666), pp. 251-253. 



drink heartily. Some families, in order to discharge this 
pious duty, run into debt for the whole year. In the houses 
everything is put in order, washed, and scoured for the 
reception of the dear and distinguished guests. A tall 
bamboo pole is set up in the front of every house and allowed 
to stand there for seven days. A small basket containing 
areca, betel, and leaves of gilt paper is fastened to the pole. 
The erection of the pole is a sacred rite which no family 
omits to perform, though why they do so few people can 
say. Some, however, allege that the posts are intended to 
guide the ancestral spirits to their old homes. The cere- 
mony of the reception of the shades takes place at night- 
fall on the last day of the year. The house of the head 
of the family is then decked with flowers, and in the room 
which serves as a domestic chapel the altar of the ancestors 
is surrounded with flowers, among which the lotus, the 
emblem of immortality, is most conspicuous. On a table 
are set red candles, perfumes, incense, sandal-wood, and 
plates full of bananas, oranges, and other fruits. The 
relations crouch before the altar, and kneeling at the foot 
of it the head of the house invokes the name of the family 
which he represents. Then in solemn tones he recites an 
incantation, mentioning the names of his most illustrious 
ancestors and marking time with the strokes of a hammer 
upon a gong, while crackers are exploded outside the 
room. After that, he implores the ancestral shades to 
protect their descendants and invites them to a repast, 
which is spread for them on a table. Round this table he 
walks, serving the invisible guests with his own hands. He 
distributes to them smoking balls of rice in little china 
saucers, and pours tea or spirits into each little cup, while 
he murmurs words of invitation and compliment When 
the ghosts have eaten and drunk their fill, the head of the 
family returns to the altar and salutes them for the last 
time. Finally, he takes leaves of yellow paper, covered 
with gold and silver spangles, and throws them into a 
brazier placed at the foot of the ancestral tablets. These 
papers represent imaginary bars of gold and silver which 
the living send to the dead. Cardboard models of houses, 
furniture, jewels, clothes, of everything in short that the 


ghosts can need in the other world, are despatched to 
them in like manner in the flames. Then the family sits 
down to table and feasts on the remains of the ghostly 
banquet 1 

Annual But * n Annam it is not merely the spirits of ancestors 

festival of W h are thus feasted and supplied with all the necessaries of 
ghosts in life. The poor ghosts of those who died without leaving 
A3XJUaL descendants or whose bodies were left un buried are not 
forgotten by the pious Annamites. But these spirits come 
round at a different time of year from the others. The 
seventh month of the year is set apart for expiatory sacri- 
fices destined to benefit these unhappy beings, and that 
is why in Annam nobody should marry or be betrothed in 
that month- The great day of the month is the fifteenth, 
which is called the Festival of the Souls. On that day the 
ghosts in question are set free by the lord of the underworld, 
and they come prowling about among the living. They 
are exceedingly dangerous, especially to children. Hence in 
order to appease their wrath and prevent them from entering 
the houses every family takes care to put out offerings for 
them in the street Before every house on that night you 
may see candles lighted, paper garments of many colours, 
paper hats, paper boots, paper furniture, ingots of gold and 
silver paper, all hanging in tempting array from a string, 
while plates of food and cups of tea and rice-spirit stand 
ready for the use of hungry and thirsty souls. The theory 
is that the ghosts will be so busy consuming the , victuals, 
appropriating the deceitful riches, and trying on the paper 
coats, hats, and boots that they will have neither the leisure 
nor the inclination to intrude upon the domestic circle 
indoors. At seven o'clock in the evening fire is put to the 
offerings, and the paper wardrobe, furniture, and money soon 
vanish crackling in the flames. At the same moment, 
peeping in at a door or window, you may see the domestic 
ancestral altar brilliantly illuminated. As for the food, it is 
supposed to be thrown on the fire or on the ground for the 

1 Le R. P. Cadiere, "Coutmnes Annam," etc., Bulletins de la SocitU 

fpeUiresdelavallee duNgaon-SoV* etAntkropologie & Paris V Se*rie iv 

B^n&tEct>l*Fr*n$ai&efExtrtnu- (1903) pp. 500-502; E. Diguet/Zoi 

Owjjt/, a. (Hanoi, 1902) pp. 376-379 j Annamites (Paris, 1906), pp. 372- 

P. d'Eojoy, Du droit successoral en 375. ' FP 37 



use of the ghosts, but practically it is eaten by vagabonds and 
beggars, who scuffle for the booty. 1 

In Cochinchina the ancestral spirits are similarly pro- Annual 
pitiated and fed on the first day of the New Year. The J^^d? 
tablets which represent them are placed on the domestic Cochin- 
altar, and the family prostrate themselves before these s^'and 
emblems of the departed. The head of the family lights Japan, 
sticks of incense on the altar and prays the shades of his 
forefathers to accept the offerings and be favourable to their 
descendants. With great gravity he waits upon the ghosts, 
passing dishes of food before the ancestral tablets and pour- 
ing out wine and tea to slake the thirst of the spirits. When 
the dead are supposed to be satisfied with the shadowy 
essence of the food, the living partake of its gross material 
substance. 2 In Siam and Japan also the souls of the dead 
revisit their families for three days in every year, and the 
lamps which the Japanese kindle in multitudes on that 
occasion to light the spirits on their way have procured 
for the festival the name of the Feast of Lanterns. 
It is to be observed that in Siam, as in Tonquin and 
Sumba, the return of the ghosts takes place at the New 
Year. 8 

The Chewsurs of the Caucasus believe that the souls of Annual 
the departed revisit their old homes on the Saturday night thread 
of the second week in Lent This gathering of the dead amoi% the 
is called the " Assembly of Souls." The people spare no an d WSUfS 
expense to treat the unseen guests handsomely. Beer is Armenians, 
brewed and loaves of various shapes baked specially for the 
occasion. 4 The Armenians celebrate the memory of the 
dead on many days of the year, burning incense and 
lighting tapers in their honour. One of their customs is to 
keep a " light of the dead " burning all night in the house 
in order that the ghosts may be able to enter. For if the 

1 E. Diguet, Les Annamites (Paris, 2 L. E. Louvet, La Cochinchin* 

1906), pp. 254 sq, ; Paul Giran, Magie religieuse (Paris, 1885), pp. 149- 

et Religion Annamites (Paris, 1912), 151. 

pp. 258 sg. According to the latter 3 Tke Scapesoat pp , I49 w 
writer the offerings to the vagrant souls 

are made on the first and last days of 4 C. v. Hahn, "Religiose An- 

the month, while sacrifices of a more schauungen und Totengedachtmsfeier 

domestic character are performed on der Chewsuren," Globus, Ixxvi (1899) 

the fifteenth, pp. 21 1 sq. 

in Africa, 


spirits find the house dark, they spit down the chimney and 
depart, cursing the churlish inmates. 1 

Early in April every year the Dahomans of West Africa 

" set a table > as they term ft> and invi te friends to eat with 
the deceased relatives, whose spirits are supposed to move 
round and partake of the good things of this life. Even my 
interpreter, Madi-Ki Lemon, who pretends to despise the 
belief in fetish, sets a table to his ancestors, and will tell you 
that his grand- or great-grandfather, Corporal Lemon, makes 
a meal on this occasion which will last him till the next 
annual feast." 2 The Barea and apparently the Kunama, two 
heathen tribes who lead a settled agricultural life to the 
north of Abyssinia, celebrate every year a festival in the 
month of November. It is a festival of thanksgiving for the 
completion of the harvest, and at the same time a com- 
memoration and propitiation of the dead. Every house 
prepares much beer for the occasion, and a small pot of 
beer is set out for each deceased member of the household. 
After standing for two days in the house the beer which 
was devoted to the dead is drunk by the living. At these 
festivals all the people of a district meet in a special place, 
and there pass the time in games and dances. Among the 
Barea the festive gatherings are held in a sacred grove. 
We are told that he who owes another a drubbing on this 
day can pay his debt with impunity; for it is a day of 
peace when all feuds are in abeyance." Wild honey may 
not be gathered till the festival has been held. 8 Apparently 
the festival is a sort of Saturnalia, such as is celebrated 
elsewhere at the end of harvest. 4 At that season there is 
food and to spare for the dead as well as the living. 

1 M. Abeghian, Der armenische 
l* (Lcipsk, 1899), pp. 23 

Fred. E. Forbes, Dahomey and 
Dakoman3 (London, 1851), ii. 73. 
Compare John Duncan, Travels in 
Wtsttm Africa (London, 1847), i, 
1*5 W* J A. B. Ellis, The E&e-steaking 
fbpte *f fa Slav* Coast (London, 
1890). p, io& The Tshi-speaking 
psopks of the Gold Coast and Ashantee 
celebrate an annual iestivml of eight 
days fa honour of the dead. It fells 

towards the end of August The offer- 
ings are presented to the departed at 
their graves. See A. B. Ellis, The 
Tshi-speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast 
(London, 1887), pp. 227 sq.\ E. Perre- 
gaiuc, Chez ks Achanti (Neuchitel, 
1906), pp. 136, 138. According to 
the latter writer the festival is cele. 
brated at the time of the yam harvest. 

* W. Munzinger, Qstafrikanisch* 
Studien (Schaffhausen, 1864), P- 473. 

4 Tk$ Scaptgoat t pp. 136 



Among peoples of the Aryan stock, so far back as we Annual 
can trace their history, the worship and propitiation of the ^J^ 1 
dead seem to have formed a principal element of the popular among 
religion ; 1 and like so many other races they appear to have fhe Ary^ 
believed that once a year the souls of their departed kinsfolk stock, 
revisited their old homes and expected to be refreshed with 
abundance of good cheer by their surviving relations. This 
belief gave rise to the custom of celebrating an annual Feast 
of All Souls, which has come down to us from a dateless 
antiquity and is still observed year by year, with rites of 
primitive simplicity, in some parts of Europe. Such a Annual 
festival was held every year in spring by the old Iranians. [^^ 
The celebration fell at the end of the year and lasted ten (theFra- 
days, namely the last five days of the last month and the five among 
following supplementary days, which were regularly inserted the old 
to make up a year of three hundred and sixty-five days ; for Iramans> 
the old Iranian, like the old Egyptian, year was a vague year 
of twelve months of thirty days each, with five supplementary 
days added at the end for the sake of bringing it into 
apparent, though not real, harmony with the sun's annual 
course in the sky. According to one calculation the ten 
days of the festival corresponded to the last days of 
February, but according to another they fell in March ; in 
later ages the Parsees assigned them to the time of the 
spring equinox. The name of the festival was Hamas- 
pathmaedaya. 2 From a passage in the Zend-Avesta, the 

1 On the worship of the dead, and 
especially of ancestors, among Aryan 
peoples, see W. Caland, Uber Toten- 
verekrung bei einigen der indo-germa- 
niscken Volker (Amsterdam, 1888); O. 
Schrader, Reattexikon der indogtr- 
maniscken Altertwnskunde (Strashurg, 
1901), pp. 21 sqq. ; id., s.v. "Aryan 
Religion," in Dr. J. Hastings's Encyclo- 
paedia of Religion and Ethics^ ii. 
(Edinburgh, 1909) pp. 16 sqq. 

2 As to the Iranian calendar see 
W. Geiger, Altiranische Kultur im 
Altertum (Erlangen, 1882), pp. 314 
sqq. ; as to the Iranian worship of the 
sainted dead (the Fravashis) see id. 
pp. 286 sqq. As to the annual festival 
of the dead (Hamaspathmaedaya) see 
W. Caland, l)ber Totenverchrung fai 

einigen der indo-germaniscken Volker 
(Amsterdam, 1888), pp. 64 $q. j N. 
Sodcrblom, Les Fravashis (Paris, 
1899), pp. 4 sqq. ; J. H. Moulton, 
Early Zoroastrianism (London, 1913), 
pp. 256 sqq. All these writers agree 
that the Fravashis of the Zend-Avesta 
were originally the souls of the dead. 
See also James Darmesteter, Zend- 
Avesta, Partii. (Oxford, 1 883) p. 179: 
" The Fravashi is the inner power in 
every being that maintains it and makes 
it grow and subsist. Originally the 
Fravashis were the same as the Pitris 
of the Hindus or the Manes of the 
Latins, that is to say, the everlasting 
and deified souls of the dead ; but in 
course of time they gained a wider 
domain, and not only men, but gods 



ancient sacred book of the Iranians, we learn that on the 
ten nights of the festival the souls of the dead (the Fravashis) 
were believed to go about the village asking the people to 
do them reverence, to pray to them, to meditate on them, 
and to furnish them with meat and clothes, while at the 
same time they promised that blessings should rest on the 
pious householder who complied with their request. 1 The 
tte dead* ^ ra b g e g ra P her Albiruni, who flourished about the year 
among the one thousand of our era, tells us that among the Persians of 
his time the last five days of the month Aban were called 
Farwardajan. " During this time," he says, " people put 
food in the halls of the dead and drink on the roofs of the 
houses, believing that the spirits of their dead during these 
days come out from the places of their reward or their 
punishment, that they go to the dishes laid out for them, 
imbibe their strength and suck their taste. They fumigate 
their houses with juniper, that the dead may enjoy its smell. 
The spirits of the pious men dwell among their families, 
children, and relations, and occupy themselves with their 
affairs, although invisible to them." He adds that there 
was a controversy among the Persians as to the date of this 
festival of the dead, some maintaining that the five days 
during which it lasted were the last five days of the month 
Aban, whereas others held that they were the five supple- 
mentary days which were inserted between the months Aban 
and Adhar. The dispute, he continues, was settled by the 
adoption of all ten days for the celebration of the feast 2 

even physical objects, like the 
iky and the earth, etc, had each a 
Fravashi" Compare *, Ormasd et 
Akriman (Paris, 1877), pp. 130 sqq. ; 
N. Soderblom, La Vie Future cTaprcs 
/* ^Mtf&>w (Paris, 1901), pp. 7 j^. 
A different view of the original nature 
of the Fravashis was taken .by C. P, 
TSefe, according to whom they were 
essentially guardian spirits. See C P. 
Tick, Gtschichuder Religion im Alter- 
turn (Gotha, 1896-1903), il 256 sqq* 

1 Tk* Zend-Avesta^ translated by 
James Darmesteter, Part ii. (Oxford, 
1883) pp. 192 jy. (Sacred Books of ike 
Ernst, vol. xxiiL). 

* Alterant, 7%e Chronology if 

Ancient Nations, translated and edited 
hy Dr. C Edward Sachau (London, 
1879), P- 2I - In the Dinkard t a 
Pahlavi work which seems to have 
been composed in the first half of the 
ninth century A.D., the festival is 
spoken of as " those ten days which 
are the end of the winter and termina- 
tion of the year, because the five Gatbic 
days, among them, are for that purpose." 
By " the five Cathie days " the writer 
meansthe five supplementary days added 
at the end of the twelfth month to 
complete the year of 365 days. See 
Pahlavi Texts translated by E. W. West, 
Part fr. (Oxford, 1892) p. 17 (The 
Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxxvil J, 



Similar beliefs as to the annual return of the dead sur- Feast of 
vive to this day in many parts of Europe and find expression ^ U B ^ t 
in similar customs. The day of the dead or of All Souls, and other 
as we call it, is commonly the second of November. Thus 
in Lower Brittany the souls of the departed come to visit 
the living on the eve of that day. After vespers are over, 
the priests and choir walk in procession, " the procession of 
the charnel-house," chanting a weird dirge in the Breton 
tongue. Then the people go home, gather round the fire, 
and talk of the departed. The housewife covers the kitchen 
table with a white cloth, sets out cider, curds, and hot pan- 
cakes on it, and retires with the family to rest. The fire on 
the hearth is kept up by a huge log known as " the log of 
the dead" (kef ann Anaon). Soon doleful voices outside in 
the darkness break the stillness of night. It is the " singers 
of death " who go about the streets waking the sleepers by 
a wild and melancholy song, in which they remind the 
living in their comfortable beds to pray for the poor souls 
in pain. All that night the dead warm themselves at the 
hearth and feast on the viands prepared for them. Some- 
times the awe-struck listeners hear the stools creaking in 
the kitchen, or the dead leaves outside rustling under the 
ghostly footsteps. 1 In the Vosges Mountains on All Souls' 
Eve the solemn sound of the church bells invites good 
Christians to pray for the repose of the dead. While the 
bells are ringing, it is customary in some families to uncover 
the beds and open the windows, doubtless in order to let the 
poor souls enter and rest. No one that evening would dare 
to remain deaf to the appeal of the bells. The prayers are 
prolonged to a late hour of the night When the last De 
profundis has* been uttered, the head of the family gently 
covers up the beds, sprinkles them with holy water, and 
shuts the windows. In some villages fire is kept up on the 
hearth and a basket of nuts is placed beside it for the use 
of the ghosts. 2 Again, in some parts of Saintonge and 
Aunis a Candlemas candle used to be lit before the domestic 

1 A. le Braz, La Llgende de la Morten can, 1883-1887), ii. 283 

Basst-Bretagne (Paris, 1893), pp. 280- 2 L. F. Sauve*, Le folk-lore des 

287. Compare J. Lecoeur, Esquisses Routes -Vosges (Paris, 1889), pp. 295 

du Bocage Normand (Conde'-sur-Noir- s$. 



crucifix on All Souls' Day at the very hour when the last 

member of the family departed this life ; and some people, 

just as in Tonquin, refrained from sweeping the house that 

day lest they should thereby disturb the ghostly visitors. 1 

Foastof ^ Bruges, Dinant, and other towns of Belgium holy 

AH Souls candles burn all night in the houses on the Eve of All 

feBdcuim. SouJ ^ and the j^k to}1 tin midnightj or even tfll morning. 

People, too, often set lighted candles on the graves. At 
Scherpenheuvel the houses are illuminated, and the people 
walk in procession carrying lighted candles in their hands. 
A very common custom in Belgium is to eat " soul-cakes n 
or * soul-bread M on the eve or the day of All Souls. The 
eating of them is believed to benefit the dead in some way. 
Perhaps originally, as among the Esquimaux of Alaska to 
this day, 2 the ghosts were thought to enter into the bodies 
of their relatives and so to share the victuals which the 
survivors consumed Similarly at festivals in honour of the 
dead in Northern India it is customary to feed Brahmans, 
and the food which these holy men partake of is believed 
to pass to the deceased and to refresh their languid spirits. 3 
The same idea of eating and drinking by proxy may perhaps 
partly explain many other funeral feasts. Be that as it may, 
at Dixmude and elsewhere in Belgium they say that you 
deliver a soul from Purgatory for every cake you eat. At 
Antwerp they give a local colour to the soul-cakes by baking 
them with plenty of saffron, the deep yellow tinge being sug- 
gestive of the flames of Purgatory. People in Antwerp at 
the same season are careful not to slarn doors or windows 
for fear of hurting the ghosts. 4 

Feast of In Lcchrain, a district of Southern Bavaria which 

extends along the valley of the Lech from its source to 
near the point where the river flows into the Danube, the 
two festivals of AH Saints and All Souls, on the first 

1 J. L. M. Nogues, Lex maurs 125. 
fmdref&is m Semiengg a m Aunis s Abo _- - 
CSaktes, 1891), p. 76. As to the , "? * 5 *' . , 
ofasmaace of Ail Souls* Day in other W ' Crooke Th * Natives of Nor- 

parts of France see A. Meyrac, Tra&* tkern Jndia (London, 1907), p. 219. 
tims, coutumes, Ugcndes et tmtes des * Reinsberg-Diiringsfeld, CaUndHer 

Ardennts (Charieville, 1890), pp. 22- Jtefrr (Brussels, 1861-1862), ii. 236- 

34 J Cb. Beaoqaier, LAS mots m 240 ; i, Dasfestlicht Jahr (Leipsic, 

1900), pp. 123- 1863), pp. 229 ay. 


and second of November, have significantly fused in popular 
usage into a single festival of the dead. In fact, the 
people pay little or no heed to the saints and give all 
their thoughts to the souls of their departed kinsfolk. The 
Feast of All Souls begins immediately after vespers on All 
Saints' Day. Even on the eve of All Saints' Day, that 
is, on the thirty-first of October, which we call Hallowe'en, 
the graveyard is cleaned and every grave adorned. The 
decoration consists in weeding the mounds, sprinkling a layer 
of charcoal on the bare earth, and marking out patterns on it 
in red service-berries. The marigold, too, is still in bloom 
at that season in cottage gardens, and garlands of its orange 
blooms, mingled with other late flowers left by the departing 
summer, are twined about the grey mossgrown tombstones. 
The basin of holy water is filled with fresh water and a branch 
of box-wood put into it ; for box-wood in the popular mind 
is associated with death and the dead. On the eve of All 
Souls' Day the people begin to visit the graves and to offer 
the soul-cakes to the hungry souls. Next morning, before 
eight o'clock, commence the vigil, the requiem, and the 
solemn visitation of the graves. On that day every house- 
hold offers a plate of meal, oats, and spelt on a side-altar in 
the church ; while in the middle of the sacred edifice a bier 
is set, covered with a pall, and surrounded by lighted tapers 
and vessels of holy water. The tapers burnt on that day and 
indeed generally in services for the departed are red. In the 
evening people go, whenever they can do so, to their native 
village, where their dear ones lie in the churchyard ; and 
there at the graves they pray for the poor souls, and leave 
an offering of soul-cakes also on a side-altar in the church. 
The soul-cakes are baked of dough in the shape of a coil of 
hair and are made of all sizes up to three feet long. They 
form a perquisite of the sexton. 1 

The custom of baking soul-cakes, sometimes called simply soul-cakes 
" souls," on All Souls' Day is widespread in Southern Germany 
and Austria ; 2 everywhere, we may assume, the cakes were i 
originally intended for the benefit of the hungry dead, though Gennan 3r 

1 Karl Freiherr von Leoprechting, 2 O. Freiherr von Remsberg-Dtir- 
Aus dtm Lechrain (Munich, 1855), pp. ingsfeld, Das ftstliche Jakr (Leipoc, 
198-200, 1863), p. 330. As to these cakes 


they are often eaten by the living. In the Upper Palatinate 
people throw food into the fire on All Souls' Day for the 
poor souls, set lights on the table for them, and pray on 
bended knees for their repose. On the graves, too, lights 
are kindled, vessels of holy water placed, and food deposited 
for the refreshment of the souls. All over the Upper 
Palatinate on All Souls 1 Day it is also customary to bake 
special cakes of fine bread and distribute them to the poor, 1 
who eat them perhaps as the deputies of the dead. 
Feast of The Germans of Bohemia observe All Souls' Day with 

much solemnity. Each family celebrates the memory of its 
dead On the eve of the day it is customary to eat cakes and 
to drink cold milk for the purpose of cooling the poor souls 
who are roasting in purgatory ; from which it appears that 
spirits feel the soothing effect of victuals consumed vicari- 
ously by their friends on earth. The ringing of the church 
bells to prayer on that evening is believed to be the signal 
at which the ghosts, released from the infernal gaol, come 
trooping to the old familiar fire-side, there to rest from their 
pangs for a single night So in many places people fill a 
lamp with butter, light it, and set it on the hearth, that with 
the butter the poor ghosts may anoint the burns they have 
received from the sulphureous and tormenting flames of 
purgatory. Next morning the chime of the church bells, 
ringing to early mass, is the knell that bids the souls return 
to their place of pain ; but such as have completed their 
penance take flight to heaven. So on the eve of All Saints' 
Day each family gathers in the parlour or the kitchen, speaks 
softly of those they have lost, recalls what they said and did 
in life, and prays for the repose of their souls. While the 
prayer is being said, the children kindle little wax lights 
which have been specially bought for the purpose that day. 
Next morning the families go to church, where mass is 
celebrated for the dead ; then they wend their way to the 


(called "sods 1 *} in Swabia see E. flour, and are of a longish rounded 

Meyer, Deutsche Sagzn, Sitten und shape with two small tips at each 

G&raucht ecus Sch-mabcn (Stuttgart, end. 

xSpJ, p, 452, i 174 ; Anton Birlinger, 1 Adalbert Kuhn, Mythologische 

Wtetk&mlukcs aus Sckwabm (Frei- Studun, ii. (Giitersloh, 1912) pp. 41 

bog imBrcisgEU, ig6i-i862>, ii. 167 &, citing F. Schonwerth, Aus det 

*. The cakes are baked of white OUrpfalz, L 283. 


churchyard, where they deck the graves of their kinsfolk with 
flowers and wreaths and set little lights upon them. This 
custom of illumining the graves and decking them with 
flowers on the Eve or Day of All Souls is common all over 
Bohemia ; it is observed in Prague as well as in the country, 
by Czechs as well as by Germans. In some Czech villages 
four-cornered cakes of a special sort, baked of white wheaten 
meal with milk, are eaten on All Souls* Day or given to 
beggars that they may pray for the dead. 1 Among the 
Germans of Western Bohemia poor children go from house 
to house on All Souls' Day, begging for soul-cakes, and 
when they receive them they pray God to bless all poor 
souls. In the southern districts every farmer used to grind 
a great quantity of corn against the day and to bake it 
into five or six hundred little black soul-cakes which he 
gave away to the poor who came begging for them. 2 

All Souls' Day is celebrated with similar rites by Feast of 
the Germans of Moravia. " The festival of the farewell to Ail Souls in 
summer," says a German writer on this subject, " was held Moram ' 
by our heathen forefathers in the beginning of November, 
and with the memory of the departed summer they united 
the memory of the departed souls, and this last has survived 
in the Feast of All Souls, which is everywhere observed with 
great piety. On the evening of All Souls the relations of 
the departed assemble in the churchyards and adorn the 
graves of their dear ones with flowers and lights, while the 
children kindle little wax tapers, which have been bought for 
them, to light the ' poor souls. 1 According to the popular 
belief, the dead go in procession to the church about mid- 
night, and any stout-hearted young man can there see all the 
living men who will die within the year." 8 

In the Tyrol the beliefs and customs are similar. There, Feast of 
loo, "soul-lights," that is, lamps filled with lard or butter are 
lighted and placed on the hearth on All Souls' Eve in order 
that poor souls, escaped from the fires of purgatory, may smear 
the melted grease on their burns and so alleviate their pangs. 

1 O. Freiherr Ton Reinsberg-Dilr- (Prague, 1905), p. 97. 
ingsfeld, Fest-Kalcndtr aus Bohmen 

(Prague, N.D.), pp, 493-495. a Wfflibald Mttller, BeitrSge air 

1 Alois John, Situ, Brauch und Volkskundt der Dtvtschen in Mahren 

Velksglaubc im devtschen Westitohmen (Vienna and Olmilte, 1893), p. 330. 


Some people also leave milk and dough-nuts for them on 
toA ie table all night. The graves also are illuminated with 
wax candles and decked with such a profusion of flowers 
that you might think it was springtime. 1 In the Italian 
Tyrol it is customary to give bread or money to the poor on 
All Souls' Day ; in the Val di Ledro children threaten to 
dirty the doors of houses if they do not get the usual dole. 
Some rich people treat the poor to bean-soup on that day. 
Others put pitchers full of water in the kitchen on All Souls' 
of night that the poor souls may slake their thirst. 2 In Baden 
' fc * s st *^ customary to deck the graves with flowers and 
lights on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. The lights 
are sometimes kindled in hollow turnips, on the sides of 
which inscriptions are carved and shine out in the darkness. 
If any child steals a turnip-lantern or anything else from a 
grave, the indignant ghost who has been robbed appears to 
the thief the same night and reclaims his stolen property. 
A relic of the old custom of feeding the dead survives in the 
practice of giving soul-cakes to godchildren. 3 

The Letts used to entertain and feed the souls of the 

f dead for four weeks from Michaelmas (September 29) to 
among the the day of St. Simon and St. Jude (October 28). They 
Sama&u called the season Wdlalaick or Semlicka, and regarded it 
as so holy that while it lasted they would not willingly 
thresh the corn, alleging that grain threshed at that time 
would be useless for sowing, since the souls of the dead 
would not allow it to sprout. But we may suspect that 
the original motive of the abstinence was a fear lest the 
blows of the flails should fall upon the poor ghosts 
swarming in the air. At this season the people were wont 
to prepare food of all sorts for the spirits and set it on the 
floor of a room, which had been well heated and swept for 
the purpose. Late in the evening the master of the house 
went into the room, tended the fire, and called upon his 
dead kinsfolk by their names to come and eat and drink. 
If he saw the ghosts, he would die within the year ; but if 

1 Ignaz V. Zingerle, Sine*, Brauckt 1867), p. 238 
Mcimngcn des TiroUr Velkes* 

I717 - SElard Hu e 

m ntunicn 
(Innsbruck, (Strasbntg, 1900), p. 601. 




he did not see them he would outlive it. When he thought 
the souls had eaten and drunk enough, he took the staff 
which served as a poker and laying it on the threshold cut 
it in two with an axe. At the same time he bade the spirits 
go their way, charging them to keep to the roads and paths 
and not to tread upon the rye. If the crops turned out ill 
next year, the people laid the failure at the door of the 
ghosts, who fancied themselves scurvily treated and had 
taken their revenge by trampling down the corn. 1 The 
Samagitians annually invited the dead to come from their 
graves and enjoy a bath and a feast. For their entertain- 
ment they prepared a special hut, in which they set out 
food and drink, together with a seat and a napkin for every 
soul who had been invited. They left the souls to revel by 
themselves for three days in the hut ; then they deposited 
the remains of the banquet on the graves and bade the 
ghosts farewell. The good things, however, were usually 
consumed by charcoal burners in the forest This feast of 
the dead fell early in November. 2 The Esthonians prepare 
a meal for their dead on All Souls' Day, the second of 
November, and invite them by their names to come and 
partake of it. The ghosts arrive in the early morning at 
the first cock-crow, and depart at the second, being cere- 
moniously lighted out of the house by the head of the 
family, who waves a white cloth after them and bids them 
come again next year. 3 

In some parts of the Russian Government of Olonets Festival of 
the inhabitants of a village sometimes celebrate a joint jf e dead 
festival in honour of all their dead. Having chosen a house 
for the purpose, they spread three tables, one outside the 
front door, one in the passage, and one in the room which 
is heated by a stove. Then they go out to meet their 

in Russia. 

1 P. Einhorn, "Historic Lettica," 
in Scriptores R&rum Livonicarum, ii. 
(Riga and Lcipsic, 1848) pp. 587, 598, 
630 sy., 645 sq+ See also the descrip- 
tion of D. Fabricius in his " Livonicae 
Historiac compendiosa series," ib. p. 
441. Fabricius assigns the custom to 
All Souls' Day. 

* J. Lasicius, " Be diis Samagita- 
rnm caeterorumque Sarmatarum," in 

Magazin herausgvgcben von der let- 
tisch-literariscktn Gesellschaft y adv. i* 
(Mitau, 1868), p. 92. 

3 F. J. Wiedemann, Aus dcm 
inneren und aussern Lcben der Ehsten 
(St. Petersburg, 1876), pp. 366 sq ; 
Boecler-Kreutzwald, Der Ehsten 
glaubische Gebratuhe^ Wtisen und 
woknhtiten (St Petersburg, 1854), p. 


unseen guests and usher them into the house with these 
words, " Ye are tired, our own ones ; take something to eat. 11 
The ghosts accordingly refresh themselves at each table 
in succession. Then the master of the house bids them 
warm themselves at the stove, remarking that they must 
have grown cold in the damp earth. After that the living 
guests sit down to eat at the tables. Towards the end of 
the meal the host opens the window and lets the ghosts 
gently out of it by means of the shroud in which they were 
lowered into the grave. As they slide down it from the 
warm room into the outer air, the people tell them, " Now 
it is time for you to go home, and your feet must be tired ; 
the way is not a little one for you to travel. Here it is 
softer for you. Now, in God's name, farewell ! " l 

Among the Votiaks of Russia every family sacrifices to its 

* ^ eac * once a y ear * n ^ e wefi k bef 01 " 6 Palm Sunday. The sacri- 
the fice is offered in the house about midnight Flesh, bread, or 
fRu$sia, ca kes and beer are set on the table, and on the floor beside 
the table stands a trough of bark with a lighted wax candle 
stuck on the rim* The master of the house, having covered 
his head with his hat, takes a piece of meat in his hand and 
says, " Ye spirits of the long departed, guard and preserve 
us well. Make none of us cripples. Send no plagues upon 
us. Cause the corn, the wine, and the food to prosper 
with us." * The Votiaks of the Governments of Wjatka and 
Kasan celebrate two memorial festivals of the dead every 
year, one in autumn and the other in spring. On a certain 
day koumiss is distilled, beer brewed, and potato scones 
baked in every house. All the members of a clan, who 
trace their descent through women from one mythical 
ancestress, assemble in a single house, generally in one 
which lies at the boundary of the clan land. Here an old 
man moulds wax candles ; and when the requisite number 
is made he sticks them on the shelf of the stove, and begins 
to mention the dead relations of the master of the house by 
name. For each of them he crumbles a piece of bread, 

1 W, R. S. Ralston, Sengs of tlu at irregular intervals. 
Russian PttpU* (London, 1872), pp. 

32 l ^. The date of the festival is not * M. Buch, Du Wotj&en (Stuttgart, 
mentioned. Apparently it is celebrated 1882), p. 145. 


gives each of them a piece of pancake, pours koumiss and 
beer, and puts a spoonful of soup into a trough made for 
the purpose. All persons present whose parents are dead 
follow his example. The dogs are then allowed to eat out 
of the trough. If they eat quietly, it is a sign that the dead 
live at peace ; if they do not eat quietly, it argues the 
contrary. Then the company sit down to table and partake 
of the meal. Next morning both the dead and the living 
refresh themselves with a drink, and a fowl is boiled. The 
proceedings are the same as on the evening before. But 
now they treat the souls for the last time as a preparation 
for their journey, saying : " Eat, drink, and go home to your 
companions. Live at peace, be gracious to us, keep our 
children, guard our corn, our beasts and birds." Then the 
people banquet and indulge in all sorts of improprieties. 
The women refrain from feasting until the dead have taken 
their departure ; but when the souls are gone, there is no 
longer any motive for abstinence, the koumiss circulates 
freely among the women, and they grow wanton. Yet at 
this, as at every other festival, the men and women eat in 
different parts of the room. 1 

On All Saints' Day, the first of November, shops and Feast of 
streets in the Abruzzi are filled with candles, which people 
buy in order to kindle them in the evening on the graves 
of their relations. For all the dead come to visit their 
homes that night, the Eve of All Souls, and they need 
lights to show them the way. For their use, too, lights are 
kept burning in the houses all night Before people go to 
sleep they place on the table a lighted lamp or candle and 
a frugal meal of bread and water. The dead issue from 
their graves and stalk in procession through every street of 
the village. You can see them if you stand at a cross-road 
with your chin resting on a forked stick. First pass the 
souls of the good, and then the souls of the murdered and 
the damned. Once, they say, a man was thus peeping at 
the ghastly procession. The good souls told him he had 

1 J. Wasiljev, Ubersicht tiber die la SociM Finno~Ougricnnt % xviiL). Ai 

keidnischen Gebrauche, Abcrglauben to the Votiak clans see the same work, 

und Religion der Wotj&ken (Helsing- pp. 42-44. 
fors, 1902), pp. 34 s$. (Mtmoirts dt 


BOOK in 

better go home. He did not, and when he saw the tail of 
the procession he died of fright. 1 

Sod-cakes In our own country the old belief in the annual return 
Day of the dead lon g lingered in the custom of baking " soul- 
. cakes " and eating them or distributing them to the poor on 
All Souls' Day. Peasant girls used to go from farmhouse 
to farmhouse on that day, singing, 

** Soul) soul) for a soul 
Pray yo^ good mistress^ a soul cake." * 

In Shropshire down to the seventeenth century it was 
customary on All Souls' Day to set on the table a high 
heap of soul -cakes, and most visitors to the house took one 
of them. The antiquary John Aubrey, who records the 
custom, mentions also the appropriate verses : 

* A soul-cake^ a soul-cake, 
Have mercy on all Christen soules for a soule-cake." * 

Indeed the custom of soul-cakes survived in Shropshire 
down to the latter part of the nineteenth century and may 
not be extinct even now. " With us, All Saints 1 Day is 
known as * Souling Day/ and up to the present time in 
many places, poor children, and sometimes men, go out 
' souling ' : which means that they go round to the houses of 
all the more well-to-do people within reach, reciting a ditty 
peculiar to the day, and looking for a dole of cakes, broken 
victuals, ale, apples, or money. The two latter are now the 
usual rewards, but there are few old North Salopians who 
cannot remember when ' soul-cakes ' were made at all the 
farms and < bettermost ' houses in readiness for the day, and 
were given to all who came for them. We are told of 

1 G. Fmamore, Credense, Ust t Cos- 
tumi Akrutzs$i (Palermo, 1890), pp. 
180-182. Mr. W. R. Paton writes to 
me (1 2th December 1906) : " You do 
BOI mention the practice[s] on the 
modern Greek feast T<2 ^^ (in 
May) which quite correspond. The 
*6X*$ is made in every house and 
pwt on a table laid with a white table- 
doth. A glass of water and a taper 
are put on the table, and all is kft so 
for the whole night Our Greek maid- 

servant says that when she was a child 
she remembers seeing the sods come 
and partake. Almost the same rite is 
practised for the xfavpa, made on the 
commemoration of particular dead.** 

* John Brand, Popular Antiquities 
vf Gnat Britain (London, 1882-1883). 
* 393- 

8 John Aubrey, Remaincs of Gcnti*. 
***** and Judaismf (London, 1881), 
P- 23- 




liberal housewives who would provide as many as a clothes- 
basket full." l The same custom of going out " a-souling * 
on All Saints* Day or All Souls' Day used to be observed 
in the neighbouring counties of Staffordshire, Cheshire, 
Lancashire, Herefordshire, and Monmouthshire. In Here- 
fordshire the soul-cakes were made of oatmeal, and he or 
she who received one of them was bound to say to the 

giver : 

** God have your saul^ 
Beens and all" 2 

Thus the practice of " souling " appears to have prevailed 
especially in the English counties which border on Wales. 
In many parts of Wales itself down to the first half of the 
nineteenth century poor peasants used to go about begging 
for bread on All Souls' Day, The bread bestowed on them 
was called bara ran or dole-bread. "This custom was a 
survival of the Middle Ages, when the poor begged bread 
for the souls of their departed relatives and friends." 3 How- 
ever, the custom was not confined to the west of England, 
for at Whit by in Yorkshire down to the early part of the 
nineteenth century it was usual to make " soul mass loaves M 
on or about All Souls' Day. They were small round loaves, 
sold by bakers at a farthing apiece, chiefly for presents to 
children. In former times people used to keep one or two 
of them for good luck. 4 In Aberdeenshire, also, "on All 
Souls' Day, baked cakes of a particular sort are given away 
to those who may chance to visit the house, where they are 

1 Miss C. S. Burne and Miss G. F. 
Jackson, Shropshire Folk-lore (London, 
1883), p. 381. The writers record 
(pp. 382 sgq.) some of the ditties 
which were sung on this occasion by 
those who begged for soul-cakes. 

2 J. Brand, Popular Antiquities of 
Great Britain, i. 392, 393 ; W. Hone, 
Year Book (London, N.D.), col. 1288 ; 
T. F. Thiselton Dyer, British Popular 
Customs (London, 1876), pp. 405, 
406, 407, 409; J. Harland and T. 
T. Wilkinson, Lancashire Folk-tore 
(London, 1882), p. 251 j Elizabeth 
Mary Wright, Rustic Speech and Folk- 
tore (Oxford, 21913), p. 300. 

3 Marie Trevelyan, Folk-lore and 
Folk-stories of Wales (London, 1909), 
p. 255. See also T. F. Thiselton 
Dyer, British Popular Customs (Lon- 
don, 1876), p. 410, who, quoting 
Pennant as his authority, says that the 
poor people who received soul-cakes 
prayed God to bless the next crop of 

4 County Folk-lore, vol. ii. North 
Riding of Yorkshire^ York> and the 
Ainsty ( London, I go I ), quoting George 
Young, A History of Whitby and 
StretneshaUh Abbey (Whitby, 1817), 
ii. 882. 


made. The cakes are called * dirge-loaf.'" l Even in the 
remote island of St Kilda it was customary on All Saints' 
Day to bake a large cake in the form of a triangle, furrowed 
round ; the cake must be all eaten that night 2 

Feast of The same mode of celebrating All Souls' Day has been 

^Sto transported by Catholicism to the New World and imparted 
Indians of to the aborigines of that continent. Thus in Carchi, a 
Ecuador - province of Ecuador, the Indians prepare foods of various 
sorts against All Souls' Day, and when the day has come 
they take some of the provisions to the church and there 
deposit them on tables set out for the purpose. These good 
things are the perquisite of the priest, who celebrates mass 
for the dead. After the service the Indians repair to the 
cemetery, where with burning candles and pots of holy 
water they prostrate themselves before the tombs of their 
relations, while the priest or the sacristan recites prayers for 
the souls of the departed. In the evening the Indians return 
to their houses. A table with four lights on it is spread 
with food and drink, especially with such things as the dead 
loved in their life. The door is left open all night, no doubt 
to let the spirits of the dead enter, and the family sits up, 
keeping the invisible guests company through the long 
hours of darkness. From seven o'clock and onwards troops 
of children traverse the village and its neighbourhood They 
go from house to house ringing a bell and crying, " We are 
angels, we descend from the sky, we ask for bread." The 
people go to their doors and beg the children to recite a 
Pater Nosttr or an Am Maria for the dead whom they 
name. When the prayer has been duly said, they give the 
children a little of the food from the table. All night long 
this goes on, band succeeding band of children. At five 
o'clock in the morning the family consumes the remainder 
of the food of the souls. 8 Here the children going from door 
to door during the night of All Souls appear to personate 
the souls of the dead who are also abroad at that time 
hence to give bread to the children is the same thing as to 

* 1808-1814), iii. 666. 


, p. 410. s n r R; ve * T . - ,. . 

' M. Martin, * Description of the " 1 



give bread to the poor hungry souls. Probably the same 
explanation applies to the giving of soul-cakes to children 
and the poor on All Souls' Day in Europe. 

A comparison of these European customs with the The 
similar heathen rites can leave no room for doubt that the nominally 


nominally Christian feast of All Souls is nothing but an old feast of 
pagan festival of the dead which the Church, unable or ^^JjJ* a 
unwilling to suppress, resolved from motives of policy to appears 
connive at But whence did it borrow the practice ofo dc ^ ic 
solemnizing the festival on that particular day, the second festival of 
of November? In order to answer this question we should adopted 
observe, first, that celebrations of this sort are often held at b x thc 
the beginning of a New Year, 1 and, second, that the peoples 998 A. n!" 
of North - Western Europe, the Celts and the Teutons, 
appear to have dated the beginning of their year from the 
beginning of winter, the Celts reckoning it from the first of 
November 2 and the Teutons from the first of October. 8 
The difference of reckoning may be due to a difference of 
climate, the home of the Teutons in Central and Northern 
Europe being a region where winter sets in earlier than on 
the more temperate and humid coasts of the Atlantic, the 
home of the Celts. These considerations suggest that the 
festival of All Souls on the second of November originated 
with the Celts, and spread from them to the rest of the 
European peoples, who, while they preserved their old 
feasts of the dead practically unchanged, may have trans- 
ferred them to the second of November. This conjecture 
is supported by what we know of the ecclesiastical 
institution, or rather recognition, of the festival. For 

1 See above, pp. 53, 55, 62, 65. 

* Sir John Rhys, Celtic Heathendom 
(London and Edinburgh, 1 888), pp. 
460, 5X4J?. ; *, " Celtae and Galli," 
Proceedings of the British Academy^ 
1903-1906 (London, N.D.), p. 78; 
Balder the Beautiful^ i. 224 sq. 

* K. Miillenhoff, Deutsche Alter- 
tumskunde, iv. (Berlin, 1900) pp. 
379 sf. The fiist of October seems 
to have been a great festival among 
the Saxons and also the Samagitians. 
See Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicac, 
i. 12 (Migne's Patrologia Latina> 

cxxxvii. 135); M. A. Michov, "Dc 
Sarmatia Asiana atque Euro pea," in 
S. Grynaeus's Novus Orbis Rcgicnum 
etc Insularum veteribus incognitarum 
(Bale, 1532), p. 520. I have to 
thank Professor H. M. Chadwick for 
pointing oat these two passages to 
me. Mr. A. Tille prefers to date the 
Teutonic winter from Martinmas, the 
eleventh of November. See A. Tille, 
Dit Geschichte der deutsche* Wcih- 
nacht (Leipsic, N.D.), pp. 23 sqq* ; 
O. Schrader, Realkxikon der indogtr- 
mamscheit Altertumskunde (Strasburg, 
1901), p. 395- 

of the 
Feast of 
All Souk 
by she 
Abbot of 

The least 

Saints on 
Nov. i 

seems also 
to have 
a heathen 
festival of 
the dead. 


that recognition was first accorded at the end of the 
tenth century in France, a Celtic country, from which the 
Church festival gradually spread over Europe. It was Odilo, 
abbot of the great Benedictine monastery of Clugny, who 
initiated the change in 998 A.D. by ordering that in all the 
monasteries over which he ruled, a solemn mass should be 
celebrated on the second of November for all the dead who 
sleep in Christ. The example thus set was followed by 
other religious houses, and the bishops, one after another, 
introduced the new celebration into their dioceses. Thus 
the festival of All Souls gradually established itself through- 
out Christendom, though in fact the Church has never 
formally sanctioned it by a general edict nor attached 
much weight to its observance. Indeed, when objections 
were raised to the festival at the Reformation, the ecclesi- 
astical authorities seemed ready to abandon it 1 These 
facts are explained very simply by the theory that an old 
Celtic commemoration of the dead lingered in France down 
to the end of the tenth century, and was then, as a measure 
of policy and a concession to ineradicable paganism, at last 
incorporated in the Catholic ritual. The consciousness of 
the heathen origin of the practice would naturally prevent 
the supreme authorities from insisting strongly on its 
observance. They appear rightly to have regarded it as 
an outpost which they could surrender to the forces of 
rationalism without endangering the citadel of the faith. 

Perhaps we may go a step further and explain in like 
manner the origin of the feast of All Saints on the first of 
November. For the analogy of similar customs elsewhere 
would lead us to suppose that the old Celtic festival of the 
dead was held on the Celtic New Year's Day, that is, on the 
first, not the second, of November. May not then the 
institution of the feast of All Saints on that day have 
been the first attempt of the Church to give a colour of 
Christianity to the ancient heathen rite by substituting the 
saints for the souls of the dead as the true object of worship ? 

. Biaterii^Zfewri^fcte ttek* Tfoolope und Xirckt* l(Ijd^ 

Cheetham, Dictionary of Christian 
(London, 1875-1880), i. 

T T 
' J " J 

G ' F ' 



The facts of history seem to countenance this hypothesis. 
For the feast of All Saints was instituted in France and 
Germany by order of the Emperor Lewis the Pious in 
835 A.D., that is, about a hundred and sixty years before 
the introduction of the feast of All Souls. The innovation 
was made by the advice of the pope, Gregory IV., whose 
motive may well have been that of suppressing an old pagan 
custom which was still notoriously practised in France and 
Germany. The idea, however, was not a novel one, for the 
testimony of Bede proves that in Britain, another Celtic 
country, the feast of All Saints on the first of November was 
already celebrated in the eighth century. 1 We may con- 
jecture that this attempt to divert the devotion of the 
faithful from the souls of the dead to the saints proved a 
failure, and that finally the Church reluctantly decided to 
sanction the popular superstition by frankly admitting a feast 
of All Souls into the calendar. But it could not assign the 
new, or rather the old, festival to the old day, the first of 
November, since that was already occupied by the feast of 
All Saints. Accordingly it placed the mass for the dead on 
the next day, the second of November. On this theory the 
feasts of All Saints and of All Souls mark two successive 
efforts of the Catholic Church to eradicate an old heathen 
festival of the dead Both efforts failed. " In all Catholic 
countries the day oi All Souls has preserved the serious 
character of a festival of the dead which no worldly gaieties 
are allowed to disturb. It is then the sacred duty of the 
survivors to visit the graves of their loved ones in the 
churchyard, to deck them with flowers and lights, and to 
utter a devout prayer a pious custom with which in cities 
like Paris and Vi'enna even the gay and frivolous comply 
for the sake of appearance, if not to satisfy an impulse of 
the heart" 2 

1 A. J. Binterim, op* cit. v. I, pp. 
487 sqg. ; J. J. Herzog und G. F. 
Plitt, op. cit. i. p. 303 ; W. Smith and 
S. Cheetham, Dictionary of Christian 
Antiquities, i. 57. In the last of these 
works a passage from the Martyrologium 
Romanum Vetus is quoted which 
states that a feast of Saints ( Fcstivitas 
Sanctorum] on the first of November 

was celebrated at Rome. But the 
date of this particular Martyrology is 
disputed. See A. J, Binterim, op* fit. 
v. i, pp. 52-54- 

* J. J. Herzog und G. F. Plitt, 
op. cit* i. 304. A similar attempt to 
reform religion by diverting the devotion 
of the people from the spirits of their 
dead appears to have been made in 


3. The Festival in the Month of Athyr 

The foregoing evidence lends some support to the con- 
death : ecture f or it is only a conjecture that the great festival 

and rejur* * ~ . . . n ^ / 

01 of Osiris at Sais, with its accompanying illumination of the 
houses, was a night of All Souls, when the ghosts of the 
of Athyr. dead swarmed in the streets and revisited their old homes, 
which were lit up to welcome them back again. Herodotus, 
who briefly describes the festival, omits to mention its date, 
but we can determine it with some probability from other 
sources. Thus Plutarch tells us that Osiris was murdered 
on the seventeenth of the month Athyr, and that the 
Egyptians accordingly observed mournful rites for four 
days from the seventeenth of Athyr. 1 Now in the Alex- 
andrian calendar, which Plutarch used, these four days 
corresponded to the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and 
sixteenth of November, and this date answers exactly to 
the other indications given by Plutarch, who says that at 
the time of the festival the Nile was sinking, the north 
winds dying away, the nights lengthening, and the leaves 
falling from the trees. During these four days a gilt cow 
swathed in a black pall was exhibited as an image of Isis. 

antiquity by the doctors of the Persian 
kith. For that faith "in its most 
finished and purest form, in the Gathas, 
does not recognize the dead as objects 
worthy of worship and sacrifice. But 
the popular beliefs were too firmly 
rooted, and the Mazdeans, like the 
sectaries of many other ideal and lofty 
forms of religion, were forced to give 
way. As they could not suppress the 
worship and get rid of the primitive 
and crude ideas involved in it, they 
set about the reform in another way : 
they interpreted the worship in a new 
manner, and thus the worship of the 
dead became a worship of the gods or 
of a god in favour of the loved and lost 
ones, a pious commemoration of their 
names and their virtues." See N. 
Soderblom, LtsFravasAis (Paris, 1899), 
pp. 6 s?. The Golhos form the oldest 
part of the 2e*d-Avsta. James 
DAnnesteter, indeed, in his later life 

startled the learned world by a theory 
that the Gat has were a comparatively 
late work based on the teaching of 
Fhilo of Alexandria. But this attempt 
of a Jew to claim for his race the 
inspiration of the Persian scriptures 
has been coldly received by Gentile 
scholars. See J. H. Moulton, Early 
Zoroastrianisnt (London, 1913), pp. 8 

1 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 39. As 
to the death of Osiris on the seven- 
teenth of Athyr see ib. 13 and 42. 
Plutarch's statement on this subject is 
confirmed by the evidence of the 
papyrus Sallier IV., a document dating 
from the iQth dynasty, which places 
the lamentation for Osiris at Sais on 
the seventeenth day of Athyr. See 
A. Wiedemann, fferodots zweites Bvch^ 
p A 262 ; id. i Die Religion for alt&n 
Agypter^ p. 112 ; *, Religion of tke 
Ancient Egyptians i pp. 211 $f. 


This, no doubt, was the image mentioned by Herodotus in 
his account of the festival. 1 On the nineteenth day of the 
month the people went down to the sea, the priests carrying 
a shrine which contained a golden casket. Into this casket 
they poured fresh water, and thereupon the spectators raised 
a shout that Osiris was found. After that they took some The finding 
vegetable mould, moistened it with water, mixed it with of Osiris - 
precious spices and incense, and moulded the paste into a 
small moon - shaped image, which was then robed and 
ornamented. 2 Thus it appears that the purpose of the 
ceremonies described by Plutarch was to represent dramatic- 
ally, first, the search for the dead body of Osiris, and, 
second, its joyful discovery, followed by the resurrection of 
the dead god who came to life again in the new image of 
vegetable mould and spices. Lactantius tells us how on 
these occasions the priests, with their shaven bodies, beat 
their breasts and lamented, imitating the sorrowful search 
of Isis for her lost son Osiris, and how afterwards their 
sorrow was turned to joy when the jackal -headed god 
Anubis, or rather a mummer in his stead, produced a small 
boy, the living representative of the god who was lost and 
was found. 3 Thus Lactantius regarded Osiris as the son 
instead of the husband of Isis, and he makes no mention of 
the image of vegetable mould. It is probable that the boy 
who figured in the sacred drama played the part, not of 
Osiris, but of his son Horus ; 4 but as the death and 
resurrection of the god were celebrated in many cities of 
Egypt, it is also possible that in some places the part of the 
god come to life was played by a living actor instead of by 

1 See above, p. 50. 

2 Plutarch, Isis tt Osiris^ 39. The 
words which I have translated "veget- 
able mould " are y^v K^TTLJMV, literally, 
"fruitful earth." The composition of 
the image was very important, as we 
shall see presently. 

8 Lactantius, Divin* Instttut. i. 21 ; 
itf., Epitome Inst. Divin. 23 (18, ed. 
Brandt and Laubmann). The descrip- 
tion of the ceremony which Minucius 
Felix gives (Octavius^ xxii. i) agrees 
closely with, and is probably copied 


from, that of Lactantius. We know 
from Appian (Bell. Civ. iv. 6. 47) 
that in the rites of Isis a priest per- 
sonated Anubis, wearing a dog's, or 
perhaps rather a jackal's, mask on his 
head ; for the historian tells how in the 
great proscription a certain Volusius, 
who was on the condemned list, escaped 
in the disguise of a priest of Isis, 
wearing a long linen garment and the 
mask of a dog over his head. 

4 The suggestion is due to Prof. A. 
Wiedemann (Herodots zweites Buck. p. 



an image. Another Christian writer describes how the 
Egyptians, with shorn heads, annually lamented over a buried 
idol of Osiris, smiting their breasts, slashing their shoulders 
ripping open their old wounds, until, after several days of 
mourning, they professed to find the mangled remains of the 
god, at which they rejoiced. 1 However the details of the 
ceremony may have varied in different places, the pretence 
of finding the god's body, and probably of restoring it to 
life, was a great event in the festal year of the Egyptians. 
The shouts of joy which greeted it are described or alluded 
to by many ancient writers. 2 

The great 

4. The Festival in the Month of Khoiak 

The funeral rites of Osiris, as they were observed at his 
& reat festival in the sixteen provinces of Egypt, are described 
in a long inscription of the Ptolemaic period, which is 
engraved on the walls of the god's temple at Denderah, the 
Tentyra of the Greeks, a town of Upper Egypt situated on 
the western bank of the Nile about forty miles north of 
Thebes. 8 Unfortunately, while the information thus furnished 
is remarkably full and minute on many points, the arrange- 
ment adopted in the inscription is so confused and the 
expression often so obscure that a clear and consistent 
account of the ceremonies as a whole can hardly be extracted 
from it Moreover, we learn from the document that the 
ceremonies varied somewhat in the several cities, the ritual 
of Abydos, for example, differing from that of Busiris. With- 
out attempting to trace all the particularities of local usage 
I shall briefly indicate what seem to have been the leading 
features of the festival, so far as these can be ascertained 
with tolerable certainty.* 

1 Firmkus Maternus, De err&repro- 
arvm religionum, 2. Herodotus 
tells (ii. 61} how the Carians cat their 
foreheads with knives at the mourning 
for Osiris. 

* In addition to the writers who 
have been already cited see Juvenal, 
*iii. 29 sg. ; Athenagoras, Supplicatio 
fv CArirtiatus, 22, pp. 112, u 4> ed. 
J C T. Otto (Jena, 1857); Tenullian, 

Adverms Maretonem, i. 13; Augustine, 
De civtiate Dei, vi. 10. 

3 W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek 
and Roman Geography , ii. 1127. 

* For complete translations of the 
inscription see H. Bnigsch, "Das 
Osiris- Mysterium von Tentyra," Zeit- 
sckrift fiir iigyptische Sprache und 
Alttrtkumskzinde^ 1 88 1, pp. 77-111; 
V, Loret, " Les fetes d'Osiris au moii 


The rites lasted eighteen days, from the twelfth to the The rites 
thirtieth of the month Khoiak, and set forth the nature of ^^f^ 
Osiris in his triple aspect as dead, dismembered, and finally month of 
reconstituted by the union of his scattered limbs. In the first re p^s ente 
of these aspects he was called Ghent- Ament (Khenti-Amenti), the god as 
in the second Osiris-Sep, and in the third Sokari (Seker). 1 numbered 
Small images of the god were moulded of sand or vegetable and then 

i_ j i u- u j.- jj j 2 1 reconsti- 

earth and corn, to which incense was sometimes added ; his tmed by 
face was painted yellow and his cheek-bones green. 3 These * c h ^ nion 
images were cast in a mould of pure gold, which represented scattered 
the god in the form of a mummy, with the white crown of hmbs * 
Egypt on his head. 4 The festival opened on the twelfth 
day of Khoiak with a ceremony of ploughing and sowing. 
Two black cows were yoked to the plough, which was made 
of tamarisk wood, while the share was of black copper. A 
boy scattered the seed. One end of the field was sown 
with barley, the other with spelt, and the middle with flax. 
During the operation the chief celebrant recited the ritual 
chapter of " the sowing of the fields." 6 At Busiris on the 
twentieth of Khoiak sand and barley were put in the god's 

de Khoiak," Recueilde Trcwaux relatifs 
& la Philolagie et & FArchtologie gyp- 
tiennes et Assyriennes^ iii. (1882) pp. 
43-57, iv- (1883) pp. 21-33, v. (1884) 
pp. 85-103. On the document and the 
festivals described in it see further A. 
Mariette- Pacha, Denderah (Paris, 1880), 
PP- 334-347; J- Dumichen, " Die 
dem Osiris im Denderatempel geweihten 
Ra'ume," Zeitschrift fur dgyptische 
Sprache und Alterthumskunde, 1882, 
pp. 88-101; H. Brugsch, Religion 
und Mythokgie der alien Aegypter 
(Leipsic, 1885-1888), pp. 616-618; 
R. V. Lanzone, Dizionario di Mitologia 
Egizia, pp. 725-744 ; A. Wiedemann, 
Iferodots zweites Buck, p. 262 ; /., 
" Osiris v<%etant," LeMuson> N.S. iv. 
(1903) p. 113; E. A. \Vallis Budge, 
The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 128^. * 
?., Osiris and the Egyptian Resur- 
rection, ii. 21 sqq. ; Miss Margaret 
A. Murray, The Osireion at Abydos 
(London, 1904), pp. 27 sq. 

1 R. V. Lanzone, op* tit. p. 727. 

H, Brugsch, in Zeitsckrift fifr 
e&yptischt Spracke und AUcrthums- 

kunde, 1 88 1, pp. 80-82 ; A. Wiede- 
mann, in Le Mustem^ N.S. iv. (1903) 
p. 113. The corn used in the making 
of the images is called barley by 
Brugsch and Miss M. A. Murray (/..), 
but wheat (blQ by Mr. V. Loret. 

8 H. Brugsch, op. cit. pp. 99, xoi. 

* H. Brugsch, op. cit. pp. 82 sq. \ 
R. V. Lanzone, op. fit. p. 728 ; Miss 
Margaret A. Murray, op. cit. p. 27. 

6 H. Brugsch, op. cit. pp. 90^., 96 
s $-t 98 ; R. V. Lanzone, op. cit. pp. 
743 sf. ; E. A. Wallis Budge, The 
Gods of the Egyptians , ii. 128. Accord- 
ing to Lanzone, the ploughing * took 
place, not on the first, but oc the last 
day of the festival, namely, on the 
thirtieth of Khoiak ; and that certainly 
appears to have been the date of the 
ploughing at Busiris, for the inscription 
directs that there " the ploughing of 
the earth shall take place in the 
Serapeum of Aa-n-beh under the fine 
Persea- trees on the last day of the 
month Khoiak" (H. Brugsch, op. cit. 
p. 84). 


" garden," which appears to have been a sort of large flower- 
pot This was done in the presence of the cow-goddess 
Shenty, represented seemingly by the image of a cow made 
of gilt sycamore wood with a headless human image in its 
inside. " Then fresh inundation water was poured out of a 
golden vase over both the goddess and the ' garden, 1 and the 
barley was allowed to grow as the emblem of the resurrec- 
tion of the god after his burial in the earth, * for the growth 
of the garden is the growth of the divine substance.' 1 ' l On 
the twenty-second of Khoiak, at the eighth hour, the images 
of Osiris, attended by thirty-four images of deities, performed 
a mysterious voyage in thirty -four tiny boats made of 
papyrus, which were illuminated by three hundred and sixty- 
Thc burial five lights. 2 On the twenty-fourth of Khoiak, after sunset, 
of Osiris. t j ie e fgy O f Osiris in a coffin of mulberry wood was laid in 
the grave, and at the ninth hour of the night the effigy 
which had been made and deposited the year before was 
removed and placed upon boughs of sycamore. 8 Lastly, on 
the thirtieth day of Khoiak they repaired to the holy 
sepulchre, a subterranean chamber over which appears to 
have grown a clump of Persea-trees. Entering the vault by 
the western door, they laid the coffined effigy of the dead god 
reverently on a bed of sand in the chamber. So they left him 
to his rest, and departed from the sepulchre by the eastern 
door. Thus ended the ceremonies in the month of Khoiak. 4 

1 Miss Margaret A. Murray, The boat is brought forth." See The 

Q$irewa*Atydos t p. 28 ; H. Brugsch, Bibeh Papyri, Part L, edited by B. P. 

#. V. pp. 83, 92. The headless Grenfell and A. S. Hunt (London, 

human image in the cow may have 1906), pp. 146, 153. In the Canopic 

fctood for Isis, who is said to have been decree " the voyage of the sacred boat 

decapitated by her son Horus, and to of Osiris " is said to take place on the 

have receded from Thoth a cow's head 29th of Khoiak from " the sanctuary 

as a ^substitute. See Plutarch, /w * in the Heracleum " to the Canopic 

t?w 20 ; G. Maspero, Histoirc an- sanctuary. See W. Dittenberger, Ori- 

ettmu &s Patpks de ? Orient Classique, entis Greusct Inscriptions Selectae, No. 

w 1 ?? J n V^ ey f' S ' v ' " Isis >" in 56 (vol. L pp. 105, 108). Hence it 
w. tt. Roscheir s Lexikxm der griech. would seem that the date of this part 

***** M y tk oty*** 366. of the festival varied somewhat in 

ir % Bru S sch # <* PP- 92 %. ; different places or at different times. 

A ^^"^ $' *?' pp ' 738 - 7 * ; 3 H - Brugsch, op. tit. p. 99 ,- E. 
Vte^** H*fa m^ Buck, A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of th* 

* ??* J A *? - A ' ^ Urray ' ^ A ^T^wtf, ii. 129 ; compare Miss 
^ 35 : An Egyptian calendar, written Margaret A. Murray, op. cit. p. 28, 

S? a t -?*?' C y u w .**** ** who refers to remony to the twenty- 
26 Khomk the following entry : fifth of Khoiak. 

Osiris goes about and the golden < H. Brugsch, *. tit. pp. 04, QQ s 



S The Resurrection of Osiris 

In the foregoing account of the festival, drawn from the The resur 
great inscription of Denderah, the burial of Osiris figures ^^ nof 
prominently, while his resurrection is implied rather than represented 
expressed. This defect of the document, however, is amply ^^ 
compensated by a remarkable series of bas-reliefs which ments. 
accompany and illustrate the inscription. These exhibit in 
a series of scenes the dead god lying swathed as a mummy 
on his bier, then gradually raising himself up higher and 
higher, until at last he has entirely quitted the bier and is 
seen erect between the guardian wings of the faithful Isis, 
who stands behind him, while a male figure holds up before 
his eyes the crux ansata> the Egyptian symbol of life. 1 The 
resurrection of the god could hardly be portrayed more 
graphically. Even more instructive, however, is another 
representation of the same event in a chamber dedicated to 
Osiris in the great temple of Isis at Philae. Here we see 
the dead body of Osiris with stalks of corn springing from 
it, while a priest waters the stalks from a pitcher which he 
holds in his hand. The accompanying inscription sets forth 
that "this is the form of him whom one may not name, 
Osiris of the mysteries, who springs from the returning 
waters." 2 Taken together, the picture and the words seem 
to leave no doubt that Osiris was here conceived and repre- 
sented as a personification of the corn which springs from 

A. Mariette-Pacha, Denderah^ pp. 336 
sq. j R. V. Lanzone, op. dt. p. 744. 
Marietta supposed that after depositing 
the new image in the sepulchre they 
carried out the old one of the preceding 
year, thus setting forth the resurrection 
as well as the death of the god. But 
this view is apparently not shared by 
Brugsch and Lanzone. 

1 A. Mariette - Bey, Dendtrah, iv. 
(Paris, 1873) plates 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 
71, 72, 88, 89, 90; R. V. Lanzone, 
Dizionario di Mitologia Egizia t pp. 
757 *& with plates cclxviii. -ccxcii. ; 
E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the 
Egyptians^ ii. 131-138; td t Osiris 
and the Egyptian Resurrection, ii. 

2 H. Brugsch, Religion und Mytho- 
logie der atten Aegypttr> p. 621 ; R. 
V. Lanzone, Dizionario di Mitologia 
Egizia, plate cclxi. ; A. Wiedemann, 
"L'Osiris veg&ant," Le Muston, 
N.S. iv. (1903) p. 112; E. A. Wallis 
Budge, Ositis and the Egyptian 
Resurrection, \. 58. According to Prof. 
Wiedemann, the corn springing from 
the god's body is barley. Similarly 
in a papyrus of the Louvre (No. 3377) 
Osiris is represented swathed as a 
mummy and lying on his back, while 
stalks of corn sprout from his body. 
See R. V. Lanzone, op. cit* pp. 80 1 
sq., with plate ccciii. 25 A. Wiede- 
mann, " L'Osiris vege*tant," 
N.S. iv. (1903) p. 112. 



the fields after they have been fertilized by the inundation. 
This, according to the inscription, was the kernel of the 
mysteries, the innermost secret revealed to the initiated. So 
in the rites of Demeter at Eleusis a reaped ear of corn was 
exhibited to the worshippers as the central mystery of their 
religion. 1 We can now fully understand why at the great 
festival of sowing in the month of Khoiak the priests used 
to bury effigies of Osiris made of earth and corn. When 
these effigies were taken up again at the end of a year or of 
a shorter interval, the corn would be found to have sprouted 
from the body of Osiris, and this sprouting of the grain 
would be hailed as an omen, or rather as the cause, of the 
growth of the crops. 2 The corn-god produced the corn 
from himself: he gave his own body to feed the people: he 
died that they might live. 

And from the death and resurrection of their great god 
Egyptians drew not only their support and sustenance 

Osiris in this life, but also their hope of a life eternal beyond the 

jL-.J^J MP)*K _ * 

the dead grave. This hope is indicated in the clearest manner by 
to ensure the very remarkable effigies of Osiris which have come to 
" light in Egyptian cemeteries. Thus in the Valley of the 
Kings at Thebes there was found the tomb of a royal fan- 
bearer who lived about 1500 B.C. Among the rich contents 
of the tomb there was a bier on which rested a mattress of 
reeds covered with three layers of linen. On the upper side 
of the linen was painted a life-size figure of Osiris ; and the 
interior of the figure, which was waterproof, contained a 
mixture of vegetable mould, barley, and a sticky fluid. The 
barley had sprouted and sent out shoots two or three inches 
long. 8 Again, in the cemetery at Cynopolis "were numerous 
burials of Osiris figures. These were made of grain wrapped 
up in cloth and roughly shaped like an Osiris, and placed 
inside a bricked-up recess at the side of the tomb, sometimes 

1 Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium 
h&trcsium, v. 8, p. 162 d. L. Duncker 
and F. G. Schneidewin (Gottingen, 
1 859), See Spirits tf the Corn tutd of 
tkt Wild, L 38 jf, 

* Prof. A. Erroan rightly assumes 
(Die agyptiuke faHgim? p. 234) that 
the images made in the month of 
Khoiak were intended to germinate as 

a symbol of the divine resurrection. 

s A. Wiedemann, "L'Osiris vege*- 
tant,*' Le Mus&n* N.S. iv. (1903) 
p. Ill; Egyptian Exploration Fund 
Archaeological Report^ 1898-1899, pp. 
24 sq* ; A. Moret, Kings and Gods of 
Egypt (New York and London, 1912), 
p. 94, with plate xi. ; ut. 9 Mystires 
Egyptians (Paris, 1913), p. 41. 



in small pottery coffins, sometimes in wooden coffins in the 
form of a hawk -mummy, sometimes without any coffins 
at all" 1 These corn -stuffed figures were bandaged like 
mummies with patches of gilding here and there, as if 
in imitation of the golden mould in which the similar 
figures of Osiris were cast at the festival of sowing. 2 Again, 
effigies of Osiris, with faces of green wax and their interior 
full of grain, were found buried near the necropolis of 
Thebes. 8 Finally, we are told by Professor Erman that 
between the legs of mummies " there sometimes lies a figure 
of Osiris made of slime ; it is filled with grains of corn, the 
sprouting of which is intended to signify the resurrection of 
the god.' 14 We cannot doubt that, just as the burial of 
corn-stuffed images of Osiris in the earth at the festival of 
sowing was designed to quicken the seed, so the burial of 
similar images in the grave was meant to quicken the 
dead, in other words, to ensure their spiritual immortality. 

6. Readjustment of Egyptian Festivals 

The festival of Osiris which Plutarch assigns to the The 
month of Athyr would seem to be identical in substance S 5 ^! 8 of 

. , . . Osiris in 

with the one which the inscription of Denderah assigns to the months 
the following month, namely, to Khoiak. Apparently the ^ thyr 
essence of both festivals was a dramatic representation of Khoiak 
the death and resurrection of the god ; in both of them Isis hav^been 
was figured by a gilt cow, and Osiris by an image moulded substanti- 
of moist vegetable earth. But if the festivals were the same, 
why were they held in different months? It is easy to 
suggest that different towns in Egypt celebrated the festival 
at different dates. But when we remember that according 
to the great inscription of Denderah, the authority of which 
is indisputable, the festival fell in the month of Khoiak in 

1 B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, in 
Egyptian Exploration Fund Archaeo- 
logical Report, 1902-1903, p. 5. 

s Miss Margaret A. Murray, The 
Osireion at Abydos^ pp. 28 sq. 

3 Sir J. Gardiner Wilkinson, A 
Second Series of the Manners and 
Customs of the Ancient Egyptians 
(London, 1841), ii. 300, note . The pp, aoo, sg. 

writer seems to have doubted whether 
these effigies represented Osiris. But 
the doubt has been entirely removed 
by subsequent discoveries. Wilkinson's 
important note on the subject is 
omitted by his editor, S, Birch (voL 
iii. p. 375, ed. 1878). 


every province of Egypt, we shall be reluctant to suppose 
that at some one place, or even at a few places, it was 
exceptionally held in the preceding month of Athyr, and 
that the usually well-informed Plutarch described the 
exception as if it had been the rule, of which on this 
supposition he must have been wholly ignorant More 
probably the discrepancy is to be explained by the great 
change which came over the Egyptian calendar between the 
date of the inscription and the lifetime of Plutarch. For 
when the inscription was drawn up in the Ptolemaic age 
the festivals were dated by the old vague or movable year, 
and therefore rotated gradually through the whole circle of 
the seasons ; whereas at the time when Plutarch wrote, 
about the end of the first century, they were seemingly 
dated by the fixed Alexandrian year, and accordingly had 
ceased to rotate. 1 

O i<j But even if we grant that in Plutarch's day the festivals 

festival or j^d become stationary, still this would not explain why the 
may fca* old festival of Khoiak had been transferred to Athyr. In 
been order to understand that transference it seems necessary to 

transferred , , , _, , ,. . - - , 

to Athyr suppose that when the Egyptians gave to their months fixed 

P* aces * n *ke so ' ar y ear ky accepting the Alexandrian 
adopted system of intercalation, they at the same time transferred 
the festivals from what may be called their artificial to their 
natural dates. Under the old system a summer festival was 
sometimes held in winter and a winter festival in summer ; 
a harvest celebration sometimes fell at the season of sowing, 
and a sowing celebration at the season of harvest People 
might reconcile themselves to such anomalies so long as 
they knew that they were only temporary, and that in the 
course of time the festivals would necessarily return to their 
proper seasons. But it must have been otherwise when 
they adopted a fixed instead of a movable year, and so 
arrested the rotation of the festivals for ever. For they 
could not but be aware that every festival would thenceforth 
continue to occupy for all time that particular place in the 
solar year which it chanced to occupy in the year 30 B.C., 
wh$n the calendar became fixed. If in that particular year 
ft happened, as it might have happened, that the summer 

1 Sec above, pp. 24 sf., 2? sq.> 49 sq. 


festivals were held in winter and the winter festivals in 
summer, they would always be so held in future \ the 
absurdity and anomaly would never again be rectified as it 
had been before. This consideration, which could not have 
escaped intelligent men, must have suggested the advisability 
of transferring the festivals from the dates at which they 
chanced to be celebrated in 30 B.C. to the dates at which 
they ought properly to be celebrated in the course of nature. 

Now what in the year 30 B.C. was the actual amount of The trans- 
discrepancy between the accidental and the natural dates of J^^e 
the festivals? It was a little more than a month. In intelligible 

* ' f __ 

that year Thoth, the first month of the Egyptian calendar, 
happened to begin on the twenty-ninth of August, 1 whereas tna * 
according to theory it should have begun with the heliacal 
rising of Sirius on the twentieth of July, that is, forty 
days or, roughly speaking, a month earlier. " From this 
it follows that in the year 30 B.C, all the Egyptian 

^ shifted 

festivals fell about a month later than their natural dates, backward 
and they must have continued to fall a month late for by about 

._ a month in 

ever if they were allowed to retain those places in the order to 

calendar which they chanced to occupy in that particular 
year. In these circumstances it would be a natural and their 
sensible thing to restore the festivals to their proper places SJ^ 
in the solar year by celebrating them one calendar month * the 
earlier than before. 2 If this measure were adopted the caleadar - 

1 So it was reckoned at the time. 
But, strictly speaking, Thoth in that 
year began on August 31. The mis- 
calculation originated in a blunder of 
the ignorant Roman pontiffs who, being 
charged with the management of the 
new Julian calendar, at first inter- 
calated a day every third, instead of 
every fourth, year. See Solinus, Col- 
tetanea, i. 45-47 ( p . 15, e d. Th. 
Mommsen, Berlin, 1864); Macrobius, 
Saturn, i. 14. 13 S q. ; L. Ideler, 
Handbuch der matkematischcn und 
Ucknischen Chronologic^ i. 157-161. 

2 Theoretically the shift should have 
been 40, or rather 42 days, that being the 
interval between July 20 and August 29 
or 3 1 (see the preceding note). If that 
shift was actually made, the calendar 
date of any festival in the old vague 

Egyptian year could be found by adding 
40 or 42 days to its date in the Alex- 
andrian year. Thus if the death of 
Osiris fell on the I7th of Athyr in the 
Alexandrian year, it should have fallen 
on the 27th or 29th of Khoiak in the 
old vague year ; and if his resurrection 
fell on the igth of Athyr in the Alex- 
andrian year, it should have fallen on 
the 29th of Khoiak or the ist of 
Tybi in the old vague year. These 
calculations agree nearly, but not 
exactly, with the somewhat uncertain 
indications of the Denderah calendar 
(above, p. 88), and also with the in- 
dependent evidence which we possess 
that the resurrection of Osiris was 
celebrated on the 3Oth of Khoiak 
(below, pp. 1 08 jy.). These approxi- 
mate agreements to some extent con- 


festivals which had hitherto been held, for example, in the 
third month Athyr would henceforth be held in the second 
month Phaophi ; the festivals which had hitherto fallen in 
the fourth month Khoiak would thenceforth fall in the 
third month Athyr ; and so on. Thus the festal calendar 
would be reduced to harmony with the seasons instead of 
being in more or less flagrant discord with them, as it had 
generally been before, and must always have been after- 
wards if the change which I have indicated had not been 
introduced It is only to credit the native astronomers and 
the Roman rulers of Egypt with common sense to suppose 
that they actually adopted the measure. On that supposition 
we can perfectly understand why the festival of sowing, 
which had formerly belonged to the month of Khoiak, was 
transferred to Athyr. For in the Alexandrian calendar 
Khoiak corresponds very nearly to December, and Athyr to 
November. But in Egypt the month of November, not the 
month of December, is the season of sowing. There was 
therefore every reason why the great sowing festival of the 
corn-god Osiris should be held in Athyr and not Khoiak, in 
November and not in December. In like manner we may 
suppose that all the Egyptian festivals were restored to their 
true places in the solar year, and that when Plutarch dates 
a festival both by its calendar month and by its relation to 

firm my theory that, with the adoption 
of the fixed Alexandrian year, the dates 
of the official Egyptian festivals were 
ibifted from their accidental places in 
the calendar to their proper places in 
the natural year. 

Since I published in the first edition 
of this book (1906) my theory that 
with the adoption of the fixed Alex- 
andrian year in 30 B.C. the Egyptian 
festivals were shifted about a month 
backward in the year, Professor Ed. 
Meyer has shown independent grounds 
for holding "that the festivals which 
gave rise to the later names of the 
(Egypt""*} months were demonstrably 
held a month later in earlier ages, 
nder the twentieth, eighteenth, indeed 
partly under the twelfth dynasty ; in 
other words, that after the end of the 
New Kingdom the festivals and the 

corresponding names of the months were 
displaced one month backwards. It is 
true that this displacement can as yet 
be proved for only five months ; but as 
the names of these months and the 
festivals keep their relative position 
towards each other, the assumption is 
inevitable that the displacement affected 
not merely particular festivals but the 
whole system equally." See Ed. 
Meyer, Neuktrage sur agyptiscke* 
Chronologic (Berlin, 1908), pp. 3 sea. 
{Abkandlungen der kimigL Preuss. 
Akademie der Wisstnschaften vom 
Jahre iq<y?\ Thus it is possible that 
the displacement of the festivals by a 
month backward in the calendar took 
place a good deal earlier than I had 
supposed. In the uncertainty of the 
whole question I leave my theory as it 


the cycle of the seasons, he is perfectly right in doing so, 
and we may accept his evidence with confidence instead of 
having to accuse him of ignorantly confounding the movable 
Egyptian with the fixed Alexandrian year. Accusations of 
ignorance levelled at the best writers of antiquity are apt to 
recoil on those who make them. 1 

1 If the results of the foregoing 
inquiry be accepted, the resurrection 
of Osiris was regularly celebrated in 
Egypt on the 1 5th of November from 
the year 30 B.C. onward, since the 
1 5th of November corresponded to 
the 1 9th of Athyr (the resurrection 
lay) in the fixed Alexandrian year. 
This agrees with the indications of the 
Roman Rustic Calendars, which place 
the resurrection (heurcsis, that is, the 
discovery of Osiris) between the I4th 
and the 3Oth of November. Yet accord- 
ing to the calendar of Philocalus, the 
official Roman celebration of the resur- 
rection seems to have been held on the 
ist of November, not on the I5th. 
How is the discrepancy to be explained? 
Th. Mommsen supposed that the 
festival was officially adopted at Rome 
at a time when the I9th of Athyr of 
the vague Egyptian year corresponded 
to the 3 ist of October or the ist of 
November of the Julian calendar, and 
that the Romans, overlooking the 
vague or shifting character of the 
Egyptian year, fixed the resurrection 
of Osiris permanently on the ist of 
November. Now the igth of Achyr 
of the vague year corresponded to the 
ist of November in the years 32-35 A.D. 
and to the 3 ist of October in the years 

36-39 > and it appears that the festival 
was officially adopted at Rome some 
time before 65 A.D. (Lucan, Pkarsalia, 
viii. 831 sgq.)* It is unlikely that the 
adoption took place in the reign of 
Tiberius, who died in 37 A.D. ; for he 
is known to have persecuted the 
Egyptian religion (Tacitus, Annals^ 
ii. 85 ; Suetonius, Tiberius^ 36 ; 
Josephus, Antiquit. Jud. x\ iii. 3. 4) ; 
hence Mommsen concluded that the 
great festival of Osiris was officially 
adopted at Rome in the early years of 
the reign of Caligula, that is, in 37, 38, 
or 39 A.D. See Th. Mommsen, Corpus 
Inscriptionum Latinarum^ i. 2 Parg 
prior (Berlin, 1893), pp. 333 sq. ; 
H. Dessau, Inscription** Latinat 
Selector, vol. ii. p. 995, No. 8745. 
This theory of Mommsen's assumes 
that in Egypt the festivals were still 
regulated by the old vague year 
in the first century of our era. It 
cannot, therefore, be reconciled with 
the conclusion reached in the text that 
the Egyptian festivals ceased to be 
regulated by the old vague year from 
30 B.C. onward. How the difference 
of date between the official Roman and 
the Egyptian festival of the resurrection 
is to be explained, I do not pretend to 



I. Osiris a Corn-God 

Osiris hi THE foregoing survey of the myth and ritual of Osiris may 
suffice to prove that in one of his aspects the god was a 
f P* 801 " 60 * 1 * 011 of the corn which may be said to die and 
come to life again every year. Through all the pomp and 
glamour with which in later times the priests had invested 
his worship, the conception of him as the corn-god comes 
clearly out in the festival of his death and resurrection, which 
was celebrated in the month of Khoiak and at a later'period 
in the^ month of Athyr. That festival appears to have been 
essentially a festival of sowing, which properly fell at the 
time when the husbandman actually committed the seed to 
the earth. On that occasion an effigy of the corn-god, 
moulded of earth and corn, was buried with funeral rites in 
the ground in order that, dying there, he might come to life 
again with the new crops. The ceremony was, in fact a 
charm to ensure the growth of the corn by sympathetic 
magic, and we may conjecture that as such it was practised 
in a simple form by every Egyptian farmer on his fields long 
before it was adopted and transfigured by the priests in the 
stately ritual of the temple. In the modern, but doubtless 
ancient, Arab custom of burying the Old Man," namely 
a sheaf of wheat, in the harvest-field and praying that he 
may return from the dead, 1 we see the germ out of which the 
worship of the corn-god Osiris was probably developed 

The details of his myth fit in well with this interpretation 
of the god. He was said to be the offspring of Sky and 

1 See above, p. 48. 




Earth. 1 What more appropriate parentage could be invented Osiris a 
for the corn which springs from the ground that has been skylmd 
fertilized by the water of heaven ? It is true that the land Earth. 
of Egypt owed its fertility directly to the Nile and not to 
showers ; but the inhabitants must have known or guessed 
that the great river in its turn was fed by the rains which 
fell in the far interior. Again, the legend that Osiris was 
the first to teach men the use of corn 2 would be most 
naturally told of the corn-god himself. Further, the story The legend 
that his mangled remains were scattered up and down the ^LSem- 
land and buried in different places may be a mythical way berment 
of expressing either the sowing or the winnowing of the points" 8 
grain. The latter interpretation is supported by the tale to the 
that Isis placed the severed limbs of Osiris on a corn-sieve. 8 " 

Or more probably the legend may be a reminiscence of a of 
custom of slaying a human victim, perhaps a representative perhfps of 
of the corn-spirit and distributing his flesh or scattering his ? he kin s s 
ashes over the fields to fertilize them. In modern Europe character 
the figure of Death is sometimes torn in pieces, and the of the . . 


fragments are then buried in the ground to make the crops 
grow well, 4 and in other parts of the world human victims 
are treated in the same way. 5 With regard to the ancient 
Egyptians we have it on the authority of Manetho that they 
used to burn red-haired men and scatter their ashes with 
winnowing fans, 6 and it is highly significant that this barbar- 
ous sacrifice was offered by the kings at the grave of Osiris. 7 
We may conjecture that the victims represented Osiris him- 
self, who was annually slain, dismembered, and buried in 
their persons that he might quicken the seed in the earth. 
Possibly in prehistoric times the kings themselves 

1 See above, p. 6. 

8 .See above, p. 7. 

8 Servius on Virgil, Georg. i. 166. 

4 The Dying God, p. 250. 

6 Spirits of the Corn and of the 

il^ i. 236 sgq. 

6 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 73, com- 


7 Diodorus Siculus, L 88. 5. The 
slaughter may have been performed by 
the king with his own hand. On 
Egyptian monuments the king is often 
represented in the act of slaying 

prisoners before a god. See A. Moret, 
JDu caractere religieux de la royautt 
Pharaoniquc (Paris, 1902), pp. 179, 
224 ; E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and 
the Egyptian Resurrection, L 197 sqq. 
Similarly the kings of Ashantee and 
Dahomey used often themselves to cut 
the throats of the human victims. Sec 
A. B. Ellis, The Tshi-speaking Peoples 
of the Gold Coast (London, 1887), 
p. 162; iV, The Ewe-speaking Peoples 
of the Slave Coast (London, 1890), 
pp. 125, 129. 


BOOK ni 

aod Greek 

of the 
of kings. 

played the part of the god and were slain and dismembered 
in that character. Set as well as Osiris is said to have 
been torn in pieces after a reign of eighteen days, which 
was commemorated by an annual festival of the same 
length. 1 According to one story Romulus, the first 
king of Rome, was cut in pieces by the senators, who 
buried the fragments of him in the ground ; 2 and 
the traditional day of his death, the seventh of July, 
was celebrated with certain curious rites, which were 
apparently connected with the artificial fertilization of the 
fig. 8 Again, Greek legend told how Pentheus, king of 
Thebes, and Lycurgus, king of the Thracian Edonians, 
opposed the vine- god Dionysus, and how the impious 
monarchs were rent in pieces, the one by the frenzied 
Bacchanals, the other by horses. 4 These Greek traditions 
may well be distorted reminiscences of a custom of sacri- 
ficing human beings, and especially divine kings, in the 
character of Dionysus, a god who resembled Osiris in many 
points and was said like him to have been torn limb from 
limb. 5 We are told that in Chios men were rent in pieces 

1 Scholia in Caesaris Germanin lsq.\ Hyginus, Fab. 132 and 184. The 

Aretea, in F. Eyssenhardt's edition of 
Martianus Capella, p. 408 (Lcipsic, 

* DIonysius Halicarnasensis, An- 
tiquit. Rem* iL 56. 4. Compare 
I4vy, i. 16. 4 ; Florus, i. x. 16 sq. ; 
Plutarch, Romulus , 27. Mr. A. B. 
Cook was, 1 believe, the first to inter- 
pret the story as a reminiscence of the 
sacrifice of a king. See his article 
The European Sky-God," Folk-lore, 
**** (!905) Pf> 324^. However, the 
acute historian A.. Schwegler long ago 
maintained that the tradition rested on 
soijie very ancient religious rite, which 
was afterwards abolished or misunder- 
stood, and he rightly compared the 
legendary deaths of Pentheus and 
Orpheus (Ritwiseke Gesckichte, Tubin- 
gen, 1853-1858, vol. L pp. 534 

See further W, Otto, "Juno," 
, Ixiv. (1905) pp. 187 sqg. 
3 Tke Magu Art and the Evolution 
King$ % it 313 jff. 

* Euripides, Bafckae, 43 jyy., 1043 

destruction of Lycurgus by horses 
seems to be mentioned only by Apollo- 
dorus. As to Pentheus see especially 
A. G. Bather, "The Problem of the 
Bacchae,"y<wr<z/ of Hellenic Studies, 
xiv. (1904) pp. 244-263. 

6 Nonnus, Dionys* vi. 165-20$; 
Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. ii. 17 
sq.* p. 15 ed. Potter ; Justin Martyr, 
Apology, i. 54 ; Firmicus Maternus, 
De errors profanarum religionum, 6 ; 
Arnobius, Adversus Nationes^ v. 19. 
According to the Clementine Recogni- 
tiones, x. 24(Migne*s Patrologia Graeca, 
i. 1434) Dionysus was torn in pieces 
at Thebes, the very place of which 
Pentheus was king. The description 
of Euripides (Baechae, 1058 sqq.) 
suggests that the human victim was tied 
or hung to a pine-tree before being rent 
to pieces. We are reminded of the effigy 
of Attis which hung on the sacred 
pine (above, vol. i. p. 267), and of 
the image of Osiris which was made 
, ., , . out of a pine-tree and then buried in 

__'. ; Theocntus, xxri. ; Pausanias, ii. the hollow of the trunk (below, p. 108). 

** 71 Apoltotota, Bmioihtca, iii 5. The pine-tree on which Pentheus was 




as a sacrifice to Dionysus ; l and since they died the same 
death as their god, it is reasonable to suppose that they 
personated him. The story that the Thracian Orpheus was 
similarly torn limb from limb by the Bacchanals seems to 
indicate that he too perished in the character of the god whose 
death he died. 2 It is significant that the Thracian Lycurgus, 
king of the Edonians, is said to have been put to death in 
order that the ground, which had ceased to be fruitful, might 
regain its fertility. 3 In some Thracian villages at Carnival Modem 
time a custom is still annually observed, which may well be Th ^ acian 

. . pretence 

a mitigation of an ancient practice of putting a man, perhaps of killing 
a king, to death in the character of Dionysus for the sake ^bob 
of the crops. A man disguised in goatskins and fawnskins, sometimes 
the livery of Dionysus, is shot at and falls down as dead. kin g r ^ T 
A pretence is made of flaying his body and of mourning the good of 
over him, but afterwards he comes to life again. Further, ecrops * 
a plough is dragged about the village and seed is scattered, 
while prayers are said that the wheat, rye, and barley may 
be plentiful. One town (Viza), where these customs are 
observed, was the capital of the old Thracian kings. In 
another town (Kosti, near the Black Sea) the principal masker 
is called the king. He wears goatskins or sheepskins, and is 
attended by a boy who dispenses wine to the people. The 
king himself carries seed, which he casts on the ground 
before the church, after being invited to throw it on two 

pelted by the Bacchanals before they 
tore him limb from limb is said to have 
been worshipped as if it were the god 
himself by the Corinthians, who made 
two images of Dionysus out of it 
(Pausanias, ii. 2. 7). The tradition 
points to an intimate connexion be- 
tween the tree, the god, and the human 

1 Porphyry, D* abstinentta^ iL 55. 
At Potniae in Boeotia a priest of 
Dionysus is said to have been killed by 
the drunken worshippers {Pausanias, 
ix. 8. 2). He may have been sacri- 
ficed in the character of the god. 

* Lucian, DC saltations^ 5 1 ; Plato, 
Symposium^ 7, p. 179 D, E; Pausanias, 
ix, 30. 5 ; Ovid, Metam. xi. 1-43 ; O. 
Gruppe, J.r. "Orpheus," in W. H. 
Roscher's Ltxikon dtrgriech. und rom* 

e^ iii. 1 165 sg. That Orpheus 
died the death of the god has been 
observed both in ancient and modern 
times. See E. Rohde, Psyche 3 (Tubin- 
gen and Leipsic, 1903) ii. 118, note 2 , 
quoting Proclus on Plato ; S. Reinach, 
" La mort d'Orphe'e," Cultes, Mytkes 
et Religions i ii. (1906) pp. 85 sqq. 
According to Ovid, the Bacchanals 
killed him with hoes, rakes, and 
mattocks. Similarly in West Africa 
human victims used to be killed with 
spades and hoes and then buried in 
a field which had just been tilled 
(J. B. Labat, Relation historique de 
FEthiopic occidentals^ Paris, 1732, i 
380). Such a mode of sacrifice points 
to the identification of the human 
victim with the fruits of the earth. 
9 Apollodorus, Bti>liothtca> iii. 5. I. 



bands of married and unmarried men respectively. Finally, 
he is stripped of the skins and thrown into the river. 1 

Further, we read of a Norwegian king, Halfdan the 
tradition gia^ whose body was cut up and buried in different parts 
of his kingdom for the sake of ensuring the fruitfulness 

f *k e eartn - ^ e is sa ^ to ^ ave k een Browned at the 
age of forty through the breaking of the ice in spring. 
the Black, what fo u owec j his death is thus related by the old Norse 
historian Snorri Sturluson : " He had been the most 
prosperous (literally, blessed with abundance) of all kings. 
So greatly did men value him that when the news came 
that he was dead and his body removed to Hringariki and 
intended for burial there, the chief men from Raumariki and 
Westfold and Heithmork came and all requested that they 
might take his body with them and bury it in their various 
provinces ; they thought that it would bring abundance to 
those who obtained it Eventually it was settled that the 
body was distributed in four places. The head was laid in 
a barrow at Steinn in Hringariki, and each party took away 
their own share and buried it All these barrows are called 
Halfdan's barrows." 2 It should be remembered that this 
Halfdan belonged to the family of the Ynglings, who traced 
their descent from Frey, the great Scandinavian god of 
, the fertility. 8 Frey himself is said to have reigned as king of 
Sweden at Upsala. The years of his reign were plenteous, 

erf fertility, and the people laid the plenty to his account So when he 

buried at 

Upsala. i Rt | y j > Dawkins, "The Modem death and mutilation of Halfdan was 

Carnival in Thrace and the Cult of not committed to writing for three 

Dionysus,* 1 jforHwz/ of Hellenic Studies, hundred years, he sees no reason to 

xxvi. (1906) pp. 191-206. See further doubt its truth. He also informs me 

Spirits <f the Com and of the Wild, i. that the word translated " abundance " 

25 sqq. means literally " the produce of the 

* Snorri Sturluson, ffeimskringla t season.'* "Plenteous years" is the 

Saga Halfdanar Svarte, ch. 9. I have rendering of Morris and Magnusson. 

to thank Professor H. M. Chadwick 3 As to the descent of Halfdan and 

far referring me to this passage and the Ynglings from Frey, see Heims- 

translating it for me. See also The kringla, done into English by W. 

SterUs efth* Kings of Norway (Helms- Morris and E. Magnusson, i. 23-71 

kringh}, done into English by W. (The Saga Library, vol. iii.). With 

Morris and E. Magnusson (London, regard to Frey, the god of fertility, 

1893-1905), L 86 j^. Halfdan the both animal and vegetable, see E. H. 

Blade was the father of Harold the Meyer, Mythologie der Germane* 

Fair-haired, king of Norway (860-933 (Strasburg, 1903), pp. 366 sq. ; P. 

A.D.). Professor Chadwick tells me Hermann, Nordischt Mythohgie (Leip- 

that, though the tradition as to the sic, 1903), pp. 206 


died, they would not burn him, as it had been customary to 
do with the dead before his time ; but they resolved to 
preserve his body, believing that, so long as it remained in 
Sweden, the land would have abundance and peace. There- 
fore they reared a great mound, and put him in it, and 
sacrificed to him for plenty and peace ever afterwards. 
And for three years after his death they poured the tribute 
to him into the mound, as if he were alive ; the gold they 
poured in by one window, the silver by a second, and the 
copper by a third. 1 

The natives of Kiwai, an island lying off the mouth of Segera, a 
the Fly River in British New Guinea, tell of a certain Jg^J f 
magician named Segera, who had sago for his totem, said to have 
When his son died, the deith was set down to the magic 
of an enemy, and the bereaved father was so angry that and the 
by his spells he caused the whole crop of sago in the 

country to fail ; only in his own garden the sago grew as gardens to 
luxuriantly as ever. When many had died of famine, the 
people went to him and begged him to remove the spells 
which he had cast on the sago palms, so that they might 
eat food and live. The magician, touched with remorse and 
pity, went round planting a sago shoot in every garden, and 
the shoots flourished, sago was plentiful once more, and the 
famine came to an end. When Segera was old and ill, he 
told the people that he would soon die, but that, neverthe- 
less, he would cause their gardens to thrive. Accordingly, 
he instructed them that when he was dead they should 
cut him up and place pieces of his flesh in their gardens, 
but his head was to be buried in his own garden. Of him 
it is said that he outlived the ordinary age, and that no man 
knew his father, but that he made the sago good and no 
one was hungry any more. Old men who were alive a 
few years ago affirmed that they had known Segera in their 
youth, and the general opinion of the Kiwai people seems 
to be that Segera died not more than two generations ago. 1 
Taken all together, these legends point to a widespread 
practice of dismembering the body of a king or magician 

done into English * Totemism and Exogamy* ii, 32 jy., 

by W. Morris and E. Magnusson, i 4, from information supplied by Dr. C. 

92' 24 (The. Saga Library t vol. iii.). G. Seligmann. 




Apparently and burying the pieces in different parts of the country 
wid^pread in order to ensure thQ faulty o f the ground and probably 
of dis- also the fecundity of man and beast Whether regarded as 
the descendant of a god, as himself divine, or simply as a 

mighty enchanter, the king was believed to radiate magical 
ing tte 17 " virtu e for the good of his subjects, quickening the seed in 

the earth and in the womb - This radiation of reproductive 


parts of the energy did not cease with his life; hence the people deemed 
kingdom. j t essential to preserve his body as a pledge of the con- 
tinued prosperity of the country. It would be natural to 
imagine that the spot where the dead king was buried 
would enjoy a more than ordinary share of his blessed 
influence, and accordingly disputes would almost inevitably 
arise between different districts for the exclusive possession 
of so powerful a talisman. These disputes could be settled 
and local jealousies appeased by dividing the precious body 
between the rival claimants, in order that all should benefit 
in equal measure by its life-giving properties. This was 
certainly done in Norway with the body of Halfdan the 
Black, the descendant of the harvest-god Frey ; it appears 
to have been done with the tody of Segera, the sago- 
magician of Kiwai ; and we may conjecture that in pre- 
historic times it was done with the bodies of Egyptian 
kings, who personated Osiris, the god of fertility in general 
and of the corn in particular. At least such a practice 
would account for the legend of the mangling of the god's 
body and the distribution of the pieces throughout 

In . ! his connexion the story that the genital member 
of Osiris was missing when Isis pieced together his 
mutilated body, 1 may not be without significance. When 
to a Zulu medicine - man wishes to make the crops grow 
well, he will take the body of a man who has died in 
full vigour and cut minute portions of tissue from the foot 
** 1*6 the arm, the face, and the nail of a single finger 
m order to compound a fertilizing medicine out of them. 
But the most important part of the medicine consists 
Qt the dead man's generative organs, which are removed 
entire All these pieces of the corpse are fried with herbs 

1 See above, p. 10. 


on a slow fire, then ground to powder, and sown over the 
fields. 1 We have seen that similarly the Egyptians scattered 
the ashes of human victims by means of winnowing-fans ; 3 
and if my explanation of the practice is correct, it may well 
have been that they, like the Zulus, attributed a special 
power of reproduction to the genital organs, and therefore 
carefully excised them from the body of the victim in order 
to impart their virtue to the fields. I have conjectured that 
a similar use was made of the severed portions of the priests 
of Attis. 8 

To an ancient Egyptian, with his firm belief in a personal The 
immortality dependent on the integrity of the body, the $ 
prospect of mutilation after death must have been very probably 
repugnant ; and we may suppose that the kings offered a 
strenuous resistance to the custom and finally succeeded in succeeded 
abolishing it. They may have represented to the people i ng a it 
that they would attain their object better by keeping the 
royal corpse intact than by frittering it away in small pieces. 
Their subjects apparently acquiesced in the argument, or at 
all events in the conclusion ; yet the mountains of masonry 
beneath which the old Egyptian kings lay buried may have Pre- 
been intended to guard them from the superstitious devotion Sun to 
of their friends quite as much as from the hostile designs of preserve 
their enemies, since both alike must have been under a 

strong temptation to violate the sanctity of the grave in froin 
order to possess themselves of bodies which were believed 
to be endowed with magical virtue of the most tremendous 
potency. In antiquity the safety of the state was often 
believed to depend on the possession of a talisman, which 
sometimes consisted of the bones of a king or hero. Hence 
the graves of such persons were sometimes kept secret.* 
The violation of royal tombs by a conqueror was not a 
mere insulf : it was a deadly blow struck at the prosperity 
of the kingdom. Hence Ashurbanipal carried off to Assyria 
the bones of the kings of Elam, believing that thus he gave 
their shades no repose and deprived them of food and 

1 Dudley Kidd, Savage Childhood * Above, pp. 268 j?. 
(London, 1906), p. 291. * See my notes on Pausanias, i. 28. 

7 and viii. 47. 5 (vol. iL pp. 366 
1 Above, p. 97. w>L iv. pp. 433 


drink. 1 The Moabites burned the bones of the king of 
Edom into lime. 2 Lysimachus is said to have opened the 
graves of the kings of Epirus and scattered the bones of 

the dead. 8 

of With savage and barbarous tribes in like manner it is 
d tin* not unusual to violate the sanctity of the tomb either for 
Africa kept the purpose of wreaking vengeance on the dead or more 
commonly perhaps for the sake of gaining possession of the 
bones and converting them to magical uses. Hence the 
Mpongwe kings of the Gaboon region in West Africa are 
buried secretly lest their heads should fall into the hands of 
men of another tribe, who would make a powerful fetish out 
of the brains. 4 Again, in Togoland, West Africa, the kings 
of the Ho tribe are buried with great secrecy in the forest, 
and a false grave is made ostentatiously in the king's house. 
None but his personal retainers and a single daughter know 
where the king's real grave is. The intention of this secret 
burial is to prevent enemies from digging up the corpse and 
cutting off the head. 5 " The heads of important chiefs in 
the Calabar districts are usually cut off from the body on 
burial and kept secretly for fear the head, and thereby the 
spirit, of the dead chief, should be stolen from the town. If 
it were stolen it would be not only a great advantage to its 
new possessor, but a great danger to the chiefs old town, 
because he would know all the peculiar ju-ju relating to it. 
For each town has a peculiar one, kept exceedingly secret, 
in addition to the general ju-jus, and this secret one would 
then be in the hands of the new owners of the spirit." 6 The 
graves of Basuto chiefs are kept secret lest certain more or 
less imaginary witches and wizards called Baloi> who haunt 
tombs, should get possession of the bones and work evil 
magic with them. 7 In the Thonga tribe of South Africa, 

1 R, F. Harper, Assyrian and Baby- Mary H. Kingsley, Tra&ek m 

fatten Literature (New York, 1901), West Africa (London, 1897), pp. 449 

p. 116 ; C Fossey, La MagU Assyri- sq. In West African jargon the word 

enru (Paris, 1902), pp. 34 sq* ju-ju means fetish or magic. 

1 Amos ii i. 7 Father Porte, " Les reminiscences 

1 Pansanias, i. 9. 7 jy. <ftm missionnaire du Basutoland," 

4 P. B. du Chaillu, Explorations Missions Catkoliquts^ xxviii. (1896) 

" Adventures in Equatorial Africa pp. 311 sq. As to the Baloi^ see 

(London, 1861), pp. 18 sq. A. Merensky, Btitrdge sur Kcmttni* 

1 J. Spleth, Di* Mw-StSmm* (Ber- Stid-Afrikas (Berlin, 1875), PP- *3* 
KB, 1906), p. 107. sg. ; E, Gottschling, " The Bawenda," 


when a chief dies, he is buried secretly by night in a sacred 
1 wood, and few people know the place of the grave. With 

* ' some clans of the tribe it is customary to level the mound 

over the grave so that no sign whatever remains to show 

^> where the body has been buried. This is said to be done 

lest enemies should exhume the corpse and cut off the ears, 

rS\ the diaphragm, and other parts in order to make powerful 
, war-charms out of them. 1 By many tribes in Fiji "the Burial- 

burial-place of their chief is kept a profound secret, lest chiefs to 
those whom he injured during his lifetime should revenge Fiji kept 
themselves by digging up and insulting or even eating his secret 
body. In some places the dead chief is buried in his own 
house, and armed warriors of his mother's kin keep watch 
night and day over his grave. After a time his bones are 
taken up and carried by night to some far-away inaccessible 
cave in the mountains, whose position is known only to a 
few trustworthy men. Ladders are constructed to enable 
them to reach the cave, and are taken down when the bones 
have been deposited there. Many frightful stories are told 
in connection with this custom, and it is certain that not 
, even decomposition itself avails to baulk the last revenge of 

J2 cannibals if they can find the grave. The very bones of 

^ the dead chief are not secure from the revenge of those 

whose friends he killed during his lifetime, or whom he 
otherwise so exasperated by the tyrannous exercise of his 
power as to fill their hearts with a deadly hate. In one 
instance within my own knowledge, when the hiding-place 
was discovered, the bones were taken away, scraped, and 
stewed down into a horrible hell - broth." 2 When a Graves of 
Melanesian dies who enjoyed a reputation for magical M k nes kn 


powers in his lifetime, his friends will sometimes hold a kept secret 
sham burial and keep the real grave secret for fear that 
men might come and dig up the skull and bones to make 
charms with them. 8 

y Journal of the Anthropological Institute, * Lorimer Fison, " Notes on Fijian 

2 3DCXV - ('905) P- 375- For these two Burial Customs," Journal of th* 

* references I have to thank Mr. E. S. Anthropological Institute, x. (1881) pp. 

Hartland. 141 S g. 

1 Henri A. Junod, The Life of a 

Sortk African Tribe Qtaich&d, 1912- R. H. Codnngton, The Mela* 

- 3*7 *f nesians (Oxford, 1891), p. 269. 




Among the 
Konags of 
Alaska the 
bodies of 


were cut 
tip and 
used as 


tion of 
victims to 
the com. 

Beliefs and practices of this sort are by no means 
confined to agricultural peoples. Among the Koniags of 
Alaska "in ancient times the pursuit of the whale was 
accompanied by numerous superstitious observances kept a 
secret by the hunters. Lieutenant Davidof states that the 
whalers preserved the bodies of brave or distinguished men 
in secluded caves, and before proceeding upon a whale-hunt 
would carry these dead bodies into a stream and then drink 
of the water thus tainted. One famous whaler of Kadiak 
who desired to flatter Baranof, the first chief manager of the 
Russian colonies, said to him, * When you die I shall try to 
steal your body/ intending thus to express his great respect 
for Baranof. On the occasion of the death of a whaler his 
fellows would cut the body into pieces, each man taking 
one of them for the purpose of rubbing his spear-heads 
therewith. These pieces were dried or otherwise preserved, 
and were frequently taken into the canoes as talismans." 1 

To return to the human victims whose ashes the Egyptians 
scattered with winnowing-fans, 2 the red hair of these unfortun- 
ates was probably significant. If I am right, the custom of 
sacrificing such persons was not a mere way of wreaking 
a national spite on fair-haired foreigners, whom the black- 
haired Egyptians of old, like the black-haired Chinese of 
modern times, may have regarded as red-haired devils. For 
in Egypt the oxen which were sacrificed had also to be red ; 
a single black or white hair found on the beast would have 
disqualified it for the sacrifice. 8 If, as I conjecture, these 
human sacrifices were intended to promote the growth of 
the crops and the winnowing of their ashes seems to 
support this view red-haired victims were perhaps selected 
as best fitted to personate the spirit of the ruddy grain. For 
when a god is represented by a living person, it is natural 
that the human representative should be chosen on the 
ground of his supposed resemblance to the divine original. 

on it'* See H. J. Holmberg, " Uber 
die Volker des mssischen Amerika," 
Acta Socictatis Scientiarum Fcnniceu^ 
iv. (Helsingfors, 1856) p. 391. 

* Above, p. 97. 

* Plutarch, Isis et Osiris > 31 ; Hero- 
dotus, ii. 38. 

1 Iran Petroff, Rtpert on tke 

Industries, and Resources of 
Alaska^ p. 142. Hie account seems to 
be borrowed from H, J. Holmberg, who 
adds that pains were taken to preserve 
the flesh from decay, "because they 
believed that their own life depended 




Hence the ancient Mexicans, conceiving the maize as a 
personal being who went through the whole course of life 
between seed-time and harvest, sacrificed new-born babes 
when the maize was sown, older children when it had 
sprouted, and so on till it was fully ripe, when they sacri- 
ficed old men. 1 A name for Osiris was the c * crop " or 
" harvest " ; 2 and the ancients sometimes explained him as 
a personification of the corn. 8 

2. Osiris a Tree- Spirit 

But Osiris was more than a spirit of the corn ; he was Osiris as a 
also a tree -spirit, and this may perhaps have been his tree - s P irit - 
primitive character, since the worship of trees is naturally 
older in the history of religion than the worship of the 
cereals. However that may have been, to an agricultural 
people like the Egyptians, who depended almost wholly on 
their crops, the corn-god was naturally a far more important 

1 Herrera, quoted by A. Bastian, 
Die Culturlander des alien Amerika 
(Berlin, 1878), ii. 639; &, General 
History of the vast Continent and 
Islands of America^ translated by Capt. 
J. Stevens (London, 1725-26), ii. 379 
sq. (whose version of the passage is 
inadequate). Compare Brasseur de 
Bourbourg, Histoire des nations dm- 
lisees du Mexique et de FAmerique 
Centrale (Paris, 1857-59), i. 327, iii. 


2 E, Lefebure, Le mythe Osiritn 
(Paris, i874-75) P- 188. 

3 Firmicus Materaus, De errore pro- 
fanarum religionum^ 2, " Def en- 
sores eorum volunt addere physicam 
rationem^ frugum semina Osirim 
difentes esse, Isim terram^ Tyfonem 
calorem: et quia maturatae fruges 
calore ad mtam hominum colliguntur 
tt dimsae a terrae consortio separantur 
et rursus adpropinquanU hieme semi- 
nantur, hanc volunt esse mortem 
Qsindzs, cum fruges recondunt, in- 
ventioncm vero> cum fruges genitali 
terrae fomento conceptae annua rursus 
coeperint procreations generari. " Ter- 
tullian, Aetversus Marcionem, i. 13, 
"Sic et Osiris quod semper sepelitur 

et in vivido quaeritur et cum gaudic 
inventing reciprocarum frugum et 
mvidorum elementorum et recidim anni 
fidem argitmentantur." Plutarch, /sis 
et Osiris , 65, otfrw 5 /cai TOLS n-oXXots 
Kal <f>opTiKots ^TTixetpTja'o/zei', efr* rats 
/cap &pa.v teTa/3oXa?y rot? irfpifvovTos 
tT rats Kapir&v yeveo-tirt /cai o"iropais 
/cat apoTots xatpovffi TO. Trcpl Toits 
rotfrovs <n/yoi/fouvres, /ca2 
$d7rro-0at nkv "Offipiv Sre KpfrrrTerai rg 
yrj (nreipoueifos 6 /capir6s, a&^ts 5' dva- 
fiiovadai Ko.1 dva4>aiv(r$ai fire /SXacr- 
TTjcrews ip^. Eusebius, Praeparatio 
Evangelii^ iii. n. 31, 65^ "Offtpts rap* 
r/ois T^f Kdp7rifj.ov wapiffTijet 

t>aVLoju4viJV iv T$ VTT&fXf KO.I V<f>' 

y/j-uv KaTavaXtffKOfJLtvrjv 6i's Toy rpoipds. 

Athenagoras, Supplicatio pro Christia- 

nis, 22, pp. 112, 114 ed, J. C. T. 

Otto, TO. 5^ crroi^e?a /cai rd fiopia. at/rtDf 
'0"iy, ftXXoTf <XXa 6vofJiG.Ta Q.UTQLS 
ki, T-Jjv /t^v TOO <7iroy (nropav 

/M/J,,^ , * , *S 

\octeJ' tpttffi fj.vffTtK(j0$ eirl Tff 
dvevpffi T&V fjLe\&v $ rtav 

See also the passage of 
Cornutus quoted above, vol. i. p. 229, 
note 2 . 


personage than the tree-god, and attracted a larger share of 
their devotion. The character of Osiris as a tree-spirit was 
represented very graphically in a ceremony described by 
His image Firmicus Maternus. 1 A pine-tree having been cut down, the 
enclosed in cen re W as hollowed out, and with the wood thus excavated 
an image of Osiris was made, which was then buried like a 
corpse in the hollow of the tree. It is hard to imagine how 
the conception of a tree as tenanted by a personal being 
could be more plainly expressed. The image of Osiris thus 
made was kept for a year and then burned, exactly as was 
done with the image of Attis which was attached to the 
pine-tree. 2 The ceremony of cutting the tree, as described 
by Firmicus Maternus, appears to be alluded to by Plutarch. 8 
It was probably the ritual counterpart of the mythical dis- 
covery of the body of Osiris enclosed in the mz-tree. 4 
The setting Now we know from the monuments that at Busiris, 
up i of the Memphis, and elsewhere the great festival of Osiris closed 
at the great on the thirtieth of Khoiak with the setting up of a remark- 
oSfein* a ^ e P^ ar known as the tatu, tat+ tet, dad, or ded. This was 
the month a column with four or five cross-bars, like superposed capitals, 
of iak. at the top. The whole roughly resembled a telegraph-post 
with the cross-pieces which support the wires. Sometimes 
on the monuments a human form is given to the pillar by 
carving a grotesque face on it, robing the lower part, crown- 
ing the top with the symbols of Osiris, and adding two arms 
which hold two other characteristic emblems of the god, the 
crook and the scourge or flail. On a Theban tomb the king 
himself, assisted by his relations and a priest, is represented 
hauling at the ropes by which the pillar is being raised, 
while the queen looks on and her sixteen daughters accom- 
pany the ceremony with the music of rattles and sistrums. 
Again, in the hall of the Osirian mysteries at Abydos the 
King Sety L and the goddess Isis are depicted raising the 
column between them. In Egyptian theology the pillar was 
interpreted as the backbone of Osiris, and whatever its meaning 

1 Dt errere prafanarum rdigionum* x*/*&<w, && 1* iroXXd r(ar 

* dva/tt/tlxdcu TwJroti. Again, ibid. 42, 

* See above, YoL L pp. 267, 277. rd **&* & TU& Xrwrfwuf 'OrfpcSoj 

ra^xwy rl/xywres Karturxtwifown \dpvaxe. 

* Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 31, o&u> fnjrociSTJ. 

roji V friXw jcoi ffjclffor \lvou Kid gofa 4 See above, p. 9. 




may have been, it was one of the holiest symbols of the 
national religion. It might very well be a conventional way 
of representing a tree stripped of its leaves ; and if Osiris was 
a tree-spirit, the bare trunk and branches might naturally be 
described as his backbone. The setting up of the column The setting 
would thus, as several modern scholars believe, shadow forth Sj^~ 
the resurrection of the god, and the importance of the have been 
occasion would explain and justify the prominent part ^t^ 1 * 111 
which the king appears to have taken in the ceremony. 1 It god's re- 
is to be noted that in the myth of Osiris the mVvz-tree which surrection - 
shot up and enclosed his dead body, was cut down by a 
king and turned by him into a pillar of his house. 2 We 
can hardly doubt, therefore, that this incident of the legend 
was supposed to be dramatically set forth in the erection of 
the ded column by the king. Like the similar custom of 
cutting a pine-tree and fastening an image to it in the 
rites of Attis, the ceremony may have belonged to that class 
of customs of which the bringing in of the May-pole is 
among the most familiar. The association of the king and 
queen of Egypt with the ded pillar reminds us of the associa- 
tion of a King and Queen of May with the May-pole. 8 The 
resemblance may be more than superficial. 

1 As to the tet or ded pillar and its 
erection at the festival see H. Brugsch 
in Zeitschrift fur agyptischc Spracht. 
und Alterthumskundt, 1881, pp. 84, 
96; wf., Religion und Mythologie der 
alien Aegypter, p. 618 ; A. Erman, 
Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im 
Altcrtum, pp. 377 sq. ; ztf., Die 
agyptische Religion? pp. 22, 64 ; C. P. 
Tiele, History of the Egyptian Religion 
(London, 1882), pp. 46 sq. ; Sir J. 
Gardiner Wilkinson, Manners and 
Customs of the Ancient Egyptians (Lon- 
don, 1878), iii. pp. 67, note 3 , and 82 ; 
A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient 
Egyptians^ pp. 289 sq. ; G. Maspero, 
Histoire andenne des Peuples de ? Orient 
dassique, i. 130 sq. ; A. Moret, 
Du caractere religieux de la royaut 
Pharaonique, p. 153, note 1 ; *, 
Mysthes Egyptiens^ pp. 1 2-1 6 ; E. A. 
Wailis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians^ 
ii. 122, 124, sq. ; id. Osiris and the 
Egyptian Resurrection, i 6, 37, 48, 

51 sqq. ; Miss Margaret A. Murray, 
The Osireion at Abydos, pp. 27, 28 ; 
Ed. Meyer, ' Geschichte des Attertumsf 
i. 2, p. 70. In a letter to me (dated 
8th December, 1910) my colleague Pro- 
fessor P. E. Newberry tells me that he 
believes Osiris to have been originally 
a cedar-tree god imported into Egypt 
from the Lebanon, and he regards the 
ded pillar as a lopped cedar-tree. The 
flail, as a symbol of Osiris, he believes to 
be the instrument used to collect incense. 
A similar flail is used by peasants in 
Crete to extract the ladanum gum from 
the shrubs. See P. de Tournefort, 
Relation oTun Voyage du Levant 
(Amsterdam, 1718), i. 29, with the 
plate. For this reference I am indebted 
to Professor Newberry. 

2 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris^ 15. See 
above, p. 9. 

The Magic Art and tke Evolutim 
of Kings i ii. 88*90, 





with the 
pine, the 


and the 

In the hall of Osiris at Denderah the coffin containing 
the hawk -headed mummy of the god is clearly depicted as 
enclosed within a tree, apparently a conifer, the trunk and 
branches of which are seen above and below the coffin 1 
The scene thus corresponds closely both to the myth and 
to the ceremony described by Firmicus Maternus. In 
another scene at Denderah a tree of the same sort is repre- 
sented growing between the dead and the reviving Osiris, as 
if on purpose to indicate that the tree was the symbol' of 
the divine resurrection. 2 A pine-cone often appears on the 
monuments as an offering presented to Osiris, and a manu- 
script of the Louvre speaks of the cedar as sprung from him. 3 
The sycamore and the tamarisk were also his trees. In 
inscriptions he is spoken of as residing in them ; 4 and in 
tombs his mother Nut is often portrayed standing in the 
midst of a sycamore-tree and pouring a libation for the 
benefit of the dead. 5 In one of the Pyramid Texts we 
read, " Hail to thee, Sycamore, which enclosest the god " 6 
and in certain temples the statue of Osiris used to be 
placed for seven days upon branches of sycamores. The 
explanation appended in the sacred texts declares that the 
placing of the image on the tree was intended to recall 
the seven months passed by Osiris in the womb of his 
mother Nut, the goddess of the sycamore. 7 The rite recalls 
the story that Adonis was born after ten months' gestation 
from a myrrh-tree. 8 Further, in a sepulchre at How 
(Diospolis Parva) a tamarisk is depicted overshadowing 
the tomb of Osiris, while a bird is perched among the 
branches with the significant legend the soul of Osiris," 9 

1 A, Mariette-Bey, Dcndtrak* iv. 
pi. 66. 

* A. Mariette-Bey, Pendfrah, fo 
pi 72. Compare E. Lefe*bure, Le 
myth* Oftrun, pp. 194, 196, who re- 
gards the tree as a conifer. But it is 
perhaps a tamarisk 

* E. Lefe*bure, op, fit. pp. 195, 197. 

* S. Birch, In Sir J. G. Wilkinson's 
Manners amd Customs of the Ancient 
Egyptians (tendon, j8;8), iiL 84. 

* Sir J. G. Wilkinson, op. cit. iii. 
$2-64 ; E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods 
*f the Egyptians, il 106 sy. ; G. 

Maspero, ffistoire ancienne des Peuples 
de F Orient Classique, i. 185. 

6 J. H. Breasted, Development of 
Religion and Though* in Ancient 
Egypt (London, 1912), p. 28. 

7 A, Moret, Kings and Gods of 
Eyp* (New York and London, 1912), 
P- 83- 

8 Above, voL i. pp, 227 sy. 

Sir J. G. Wilkinson, op. at. iii 
349 if- A. Erman, Aegypten und 
acgyptisehes Leben im AlUrtum, p. 368 ; 
H. Brugsch, Religion und MytkologU 
der alton Aegtfter, p. 621. 



showing that the spirit of the dead god was believed to 
haunt his sacred tree. 1 Again, in the series of sculptures 
which illustrate the mystic history of Osiris in the great 
temple of Isis at Philae, a tamarisk is figured with t\vo men 
pouring water on it The accompanying inscription leaves 
no doubt, says Brugsch, that the verdure of the earth was 
believed to be connected with the verdure of the tree, and 
that the sculpture refers to the grave of Osiris at Philae, of 
which Plutarch tells us that it was overshadowed by a met/tide 
plant, taller than any olive-tree. This sculpture, it may be 
observed, occurs in the same chamber in which the god is 
represented as a corpse with ears of corn springing from 
him. 8 In inscriptions he is referred to as " the one in the 
tree," " the solitary one in the acacia," and so forth. 3 On 
the monuments he sometimes appears as a mummy covered 
with a tree or with plants ; 4 and trees are represented grow* 
ing from his grave. 5 

It accords with the character of Osiris as a tree-spirit Osiris in 
that his worshippers were forbidden to injure fruit-trees, and l^^ n to 

* * ' * truit-trees, 

with his character as a god of vegetation in general that wells, the 
they were not allowed to stop up wells of water, which are e * and 
so important for the irrigation of hot southern lands. 6 

1 We may compare a belief of some 
of the Call for ni an Indians that the owl 
is the guardian spirit and deity of the 
* c California big tree," and that it is 
equally unlucky to fell the tree or to 
shoot the bird. See S. Powers, Tribes 
of California (Washington, 1877), p. 
39$. When a Maori priest desires to 
protect the life or soul (hau} of a tree 
against the insidious arts of magicians, 
he sets a bird -snare in the tree, and 
the first bird caught in the snare, or 
its right wing, embodies the life or 
soul of the tree. Accordingly the priest 
recites appropriate spells over the bird 
or its wing and hides it away in the 
forest. After that no evil -disposed 
magician can hurt the tree, since its 
life or soul is not in it but hidden away 
in the forest. See Elsdon Best, 
"Spiritual Concepts of the Maori," 
Journal of the Polynesian Society, ix. 
(1900) p. 195. Thus the bird or its 
wing is the depository of the external 

soul of the tree. Compare Balder the 
Beautiful^ ii. 95 sqq* 

2 Sir J. G. Wilkinson, op. cit. iiL 
349 *? > H. Brugsch, Religion und 
Mythologie dsr alien Aegypter^ p. 621 ; 
R. V. Lanzone, Dizionario di Mitologia 
Egisia, tav. cclxiii. ; Plutarch, Isis et 
Osiris^ 20. In this passage of Plutarch 
it has been proposed by G. Parthey 
to read /tvpi/n?* (tamarisk) for fjaj&iStjs 
{metkide\ and the conjecture appears 
to be accepted by Wilkinson, toe. tit. 

3 E. Lefebure, Le mythe Oriricn, 
p. 191. 

* E. LefeT>ure, op. cit. p. 188. 

6 R. V. Lanzone, Di&ionario di 
Mitologia JS&zia, tav. ccciv. ; G. 
Maspero, Histoire ancienne des Peuptt* 
de ? Orient Classique, ii. 570, fig, 

8 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 35. One 
of the points in which the myths of 
Isis and Demeter agree is that both 
goddesses in the search for the loved 
and lost one are said to have sat down, 




According to one legend, he taught men to train the vine 
to poles, to prune its superfluous foliage, and to extract 
the juice of the grape. 1 In the papyrus of Nebseni, written 
about 1550 B.C., Osiris is depicted sitting in a shrine, from 
the roof of which hang clusters of grapes ; 2 and in the 
papyrus of the royal scribe Nekht we see the god enthroned 
in front of a pool, from the banks of which a luxuriant vine, 
with many bunches of grapes, grows towards the green face 
of the seated deity. 8 The ivy was sacred to him, and was 
called his plant because it is always green. 4 

3. Osiris a God of Fertility 

As a god of vegetation Osiris was naturally conceived 
creatlve energy in general, since men at a certain 

as a 
as * god of stage of evolution fail to distinguish between the reproductive 

powers of animals and of plants. Hence a striking feature 
in his worship was the coarse but expressive symbolism by 
which this aspect of his nature was presented to the eye not 
merely of the initiated but of the multitude. At his festival 
women used to go about the villages singing songs in his 
praise and carrying obscene images of him which they set 
in motion by means of strings. 5 The custom was probably 
a charm to ensure the growth of the crops. A similar image 
of him, decked with all the fruits of the earth, is said to have 
stood in a temple before a figure of Isis, 6 and in the chambers 
dedicated to him at Philae the dead god is portrayed lying 
on his bier in an attitude which indicates in the plainest way 
that even in death his generative virtue was not extinct but 
only suspended, ready to prove a source of life and fertility 
to the world when the opportunity should offer. 7 Hymns 

sad at heart and weary, on the edge of 
m well Hence those who had been 
initiated at Eleusis were forbidden to 
sit on a well. See Plutarch, /sis tt 
Osiris, tS; Homer, Hymn to Dimeter^ 
98 *q* ; Pausanias, i. 39. I ; Apollo- 
dorus, Bibli&theco*, i. 5. I ; Nicander, 
Tteriactit 486 ; Clement of Alexandria, 
Prefrept. ii, 20, p. 16 ed. Potter. 

1 TibtiUas, i 7. 33-36 ; Diodoras 
Siculus, L 17. I, L 20. 4, 

* E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and 

the Egyptian Resurrection^ i. 38, 39. 

3 E. A. Wallis Budge, op. dt. L 
19, 45, with frontispiece. 

4 Diodorus Siculus, i. 17. 4 sq. 

* Herodotus, ii. 48 ; Plutarch, Isis 
ei Osiris^ 12, 1 8, 36, 51 ; Diodorus 
Siculus, i. 21. 5, i, 22. 6 J?., iv. 6. 3. 

* Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium 
kaeresium^ v. 7, p. 144 e^ Duncker 
and Schneidewin. 

7 A. Mariette-Bey, D<mdtrak, IT. 
plates 66, 68, 69, 70, 88, 89, 90. Com- 



addressed to Osiris contain allusions to this important side 
of his nature. In one of them it is said that the world 
waxes green in triumph through him ; and another declares, 
" Thou art the father and mother of mankind, they live on 
thy breath, they subsist on the flesh of thy body." 1 We 
may conjecture that in this paternal aspect he was supposed, 
like other gods of fertility, to bless men and women with 
offspring, and that the processions at his festival 'were 
intended to promote this object as well as to quicken the 
seed in the ground. It would be to misjudge ancient 
religion to denounce as lewd and profligate the emblems 
and the ceremonies which the Egyptians employed for the 
purpose of giving effect to this conception of the divine 
power. The ends which they proposed to themselves in 
these rites were natural and laudable ; only the means they 
adopted to compass them were mistaken. A similar fallacy 
induced the Greeks to adopt a like symbolism in their 
Dionysiac festivals, and the superficial but striking resem- 
blance thus produced between the two religions has perhaps 
more than anything else misled inquirers, both ancient and 
modern, into identifying worships which, though certainly 
akin in nature, are perfectly distinct and independent in 
origin. 2 

4. Osiris a God of the Dead 

We have seen that in one of his aspects Osiris was the AS god of 
ruler and judge of the dead. 3 To a people like the Egyptians, o s e ir ^ rn 
who not only believed in a life beyond the grave but actually came to be 
spent much of their time, labour, and money in preparing ^goV^of 
for it, this office of the god must have appeared hardly, if the resui- 
at all, less important than his function of making the earth rectlon - 
to bring forth its fruits in due season. We may assume 
that in the faith of his worshippers the two provinces of the 

pare R, V. Lanzone, Dizionario di 
Mitologia Egizia, taw. cclxxi., cclxxit, 
cclxxvi., cclxxxv., cclxxxvi., cclxxxvii., 
cclxxxix., ccxc. ; E. A. Wallis Budge, 
The Gods of the Egyptians^ ii. 132, 

136, 137- 

1 Miss Margaret A. Murray, The 
Osireion at Abydos^ p. 27. 

1 That the Greek Dionysus was 

nothing but a slightly disguised form 
of the Egyptian Osiris has been held 
by Herodotus in ancient and by Mr. 
P. Foucart in modern times. See 
Herodotus, ii. 49; P. Foucart, Lg 
culte de Dionysos en Attique (Paris, 
1904) (Mtmoires de FAcadtmie des 
Inscriptions et Belles-Lettre$> xxxvii,). 
8 Above, pp. 13 sq. 


god were intimately connected. In laying their dead in 
the grave they committed them to his keeping who could 
raise them from the dust to life eternal, even as he caused 
the seed to spring from the ground. Of that faith the corn- 
stuffed effigies of Osiris found in Egyptian tombs furnish an 
eloquent and unequivocal testimony. 1 They were at once 
an emblem and an instrument of resurrection. Thus from 
the sprouting of the grain the ancient Egyptians drew an 
augury of human immortality. They are not the only 
people who have built the same towering hopes on the 
same slender foundation. "Thou fool, that which thou 
sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare 
grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain : but 
God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every 
seed his own body. So also is the resurrection of the dead. 
It is sown in corruption ; it is raised in incorruption : it is 
sown in weakness ; it is raised in power : it is sown a 
natural body ; it is raised a spiritual body." 2 
Great ^ Q< * w ^ ^ us ^ his people with his own broken 

popularity body in this life, and who held out to them a promise of a 

worship blissful eternity in a better world hereafter, naturally reigned 

of Osiris, supreme in their affections. We need not wonder, therefore, 

that in Egypt the worship of the other gods was over- 

shadowed by that of Osiris, and that while they were 

revered each in his own district, he and his divine partner 

Isis were adored in all 8 

1 Above, pp. 90 sq . A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the 


Herodotus, ii. 42. Compare E. i 22 jy* 



THE original meaning of the goddess Isis is still more Multi- 
difficult to determine than that of her brother and husband aorib 
Osiris. Her attributes and epithets were so numerous that of Isis. 
in the hieroglyphics she is called " the many-named," " the 
thousand-named," and in Greek inscriptions " the myriad- 
named." 1 The late eminent Dutch scholar C. P. Tiele 
confessed candidly that "it is now impossible to tell pre- 
cisely to what natural phenomena the character of Isis at 
first referred." Yet he adds, " Originally she was a goddess 
of fecundity." 2 Similarly Dr. Budge writes that " Isis was 
the great and beneficent goddess and mother, whose influence 
and love pervaded all heaven and earth and the abode of 
the dead, and she was the personification of the great 
feminine, creative power which conceived, and brought forth 
every living creature and thing, from the gods in heaven to 
man on the earth, and to the insect on the ground ; what 
she brought forth she protected, and cared for, and fed, and 
nourished, and she employed her life in using her power 
graciously and successfully, not only in creating new beings 
but in restoring those that were dead. She was, besides 
these things, the highest type of a faithful and loving wife 

1 H. Brugsch, Religion und Mytho- In Egyptian her name is Hest or Ast 9 

kgu der alien Atgypter^ p. 645 ; W. but the derivation and meaning of the 

Dittenberger, Qrientis Grata. Inserip- name are unknown. See A. Wiedc- 

times Selector, vol. ii. p. 433, No. mann, 73k Religion of the Ancient 

695 ; Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, Egyptians, pp. 218 sq. 
iii. p. 1232, No. 4941, Compare H. 

Dessau, Inscriptions Latinae Stfatat, 2 C, P. Tiele, History of Egyptian 

voL ii. Pars L p. 179, No. 4376 A. Religion (London, 1882), p. 57. 



and mother, and it was in this capacity that the Egyptians 
honoured and worshipped her most." 1 

How Isis Thus in her character of a goddess of fecundity Isis 

Differed answered to the great mother goddesses of Asia, though she 
M 00 ^ d iff ered from ^em in the chastity and fidelity of her conjugal 
Goddesses lif e I for while they were unmarried and dissolute, she had a 
of Asia. husband and was a true wife to him as well as an affectionate 
mother to their son. Hence her beautiful Madonna-like 
figure reflects a more refined state of society and of morals 
than the coarse, sensual, cruel figures of Astarte, Anaitis 
Cybele, and the rest of that crew. A clear trace, indeed, of 
an ethical standard very different from our own lingers in 
her double relation of sister and wife to Osiris ; but in most 
other respects she is rather late than primitive, the full-blown 
flower rather than the seed of a long religious development 
The attributes ascribed to her were too various to be all 
her own, They were graces borrowed from many lesser 
deities, sweets rifled from a thousand humbler plants to 
feed the honey of her superb efflorescence. Yet in her 
complex nature it is perhaps still possible to detect the 
original nucleus round which by a slow process of accretion 
the other elements gathered. For if her brother and husband 
Osiris was in one of his aspects the corn-god, as we have seen 

a goddess reason to believe, she must surely have been the corn-goddess. 
theconu There are at least some grounds for thinking so. For if we 
may trust Diodorus Siculus, whose authority appears to have 
been the Egyptian historian Manetho, the discovery of wheat 
and barley was attributed to Isis, and at her festivals stalks 
of these grains were carried in procession to commemorate 
the boon she had conferred on men. 2 A further detail is 
added by Augustine. He says that Isis made the discovery 
of barley at the moment when she was sacrificing to the 
common ancestors of her husband and herself, all of whom 
had been kings, and that she showed the newly discovered 
ears of barley to Osiris and his councillor Thoth or 
Mercury, as Roman writers called him. That is why, 

T ^ Godf tf P^sage on the early religion of 

Egypt ' P refacb S Jt wi * h ^remark 

Kw I4 ' ,! * that Diodo s 's "count of the sub- 

Kwbm (Pra&rato Eva&lU y Hi. icc t was more concise than that of 
3) quotes from Diodom a long Manetho 


adds Augustine, they identify Isis with Ceres. 1 Further, 
at harvest-time, when the Egyptian reapers had cut the first 
stalks, they laid them down and beat their breasts, wailing 
and calling upon Isis. 2 The custom has been already ex- 
plained as a lament for the corn-spirit slain under the sickle. 8 
Amongst the epithets by which Isis is designated in the in- 
scriptions are " Creatress of green things," " Green goddess, 
whose green colour is like unto the greenness of the earth," 
" Lady of Bread," Lady of Beer," Lady of Abundance." * 
According to Brugsch she is " not only the creatress of the 
fresh verdure of vegetation which covers the earth, but is 
actually the green corn-field itself, which is personified as a 
goddess." 5 This is confirmed by her epithet Sochit or Socket, 
meaning " a corn-field," a sense which the word still retains 
in Coptic. 6 The Greeks conceived of Isis as a corn-goddess, 
for they identified her with Demeter. 7 In a Greek epigram 
she is described as rt she who has given birth to the fruits of 
the earth," and " the mother of the ears of corn " ; 8 and in 
a hymn composed in her honour she speaks of herself as 
" queen of the wheat-field," and is described as * charged with 
the care of the fruitful furrow's wheat-rich path." 9 Accord- 
ingly, Greek or Roman artists often represented her with ears 
of corn on her head or in her hand. 10 

Such, we may suppose, was Isis in the olden time, a Refinement 
rustic Corn-Mother adored with uncouth rites by Egyptian an jf sp ! rit - 

01.1 i r /- , uahzation 

swams. Jbut the homely features of the clownish goddess of Isis in 
could hardly be traced in the refined, the saintly form which, l^po^T 
spiritualized by ages of religious evolution, she presented to larity of 
her worshippers of after days as the true wife, the tender JT t h e orship 


1 Augustine, De civitate Dei, viii. 1 Herodotus, ii. 59, 156; Diodorus em P ire - 
27. Tertullian says that Isis wore a Siculus, L 13, 25, 96 ; Apollodorus, 
wreath of the corn she had discovered Bibliotheca* ii. I. 3 ; J. Tzetzes, SchoL 

(De corona, 7). on Lycophron, 212. See further W. 

2 Diodorus Siculus, i. 14. 2. Drexler, s.v. " Isis," in W. H. Ros- 

3 See above, p. 45, and vol. i. p. 232. cher's Lcxikon der griech. und rom. 

* H. Brugsch, Religion und Mytho- Mythologit, ii. 443 sq. 

lope der alien Aegypttr, p. 647 ; Anthologia Planudea, cclxiv. i. 

E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 9 Epigrammata Graeca ex lapidibus 

Egyptian Resurrection, ii. 277. conlccta, ed. G. Kaibel (Berlin, 1878), 

6 H. Brugsch, op. cit. p. 649. Com- No. 1028, pp. 437 sq. ; Orphica, ed. 

pare E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods.of E. Abel (Leipsic and Prague, 1885), 

the Egyptians, ii. 216. pp. 295 sqq. 

* H. Brugsch, be* tit. W w. Drexler, op. dt. ii. 448 sqq. 



BOOK in 

mother, the beneficent queen of nature, encircled with the 
nimbus of moral purity, of immemorial and mysterious 
sanctity. Thus chastened and transfigured she won many 
hearts far beyond the boundaries of her native land. In that 
welter of religions which accompanied the decline of national 
life in antiquity her worship was one of the most popular at 
Rome and throughout the empire. Some of the Roman 
emperors themselves were openly addicted to it 1 And how- 
ever the religion of Isis may, like any other, have been often 
worn as a cloak by men and women of loose life, her rites 
appear on the whole to have been honourably distinguished 
by a dignity and composure, a solemnity and decorum well 
fitted to soothe the troubled mind, to ease the burdened heart. 
They appealed therefore to gentle spirits, and above all to 
women, whom the bloody and licentious rites of other 
Oriental goddesses only shocked and repelled. We need 
not wonder, then, that in a period of decadence, when 
traditional faiths were shaken, when systems clashed, when 
men's minds were disquieted, when the fabric of empire 
itself, once deemed eternal, began to show ominous rents 
and fissures, the serene figure of Isis with her spiritual 
calm, her gracious promise of immortality, should have 
appeared to many like a star in a stormy sky, and should 
have roused in their breasts a rapture of devotion not unlike 
that which was paid in the Middle Ages to the Virgin 
Mary, Indeed her stately ritual, with its shaven and 

I'UAfekl'hdt f^F 

isk to the to nsured priests, its matins and vespers, its tinkling music, 
its baptism and aspersions of holy water, its solemn pro- 
cessions, its jewelled images of the Mother of God, presented 
many points of similarity to the pomps and ceremonies of 
Catholicism. 5 The resemblance need not be purely acci- 


1 Otho often celebrated, or at least 
attended, the rites of Isis, clad in a 
lines garment (Suetonius, Otko t 12). 
Commodtts did the same, with shaven 
bead, carrying the effigy of Anubis, 
See Lampridius, Commodus^ 9; Spar- 
tkaus, Pescennius Niger, 6 ; *, Cora* 
callus* 9. 

* I- Prelter, KSmuehe MyO&hgie* 
(Berlin, 1881-1883), ii 373-3*5; J* 
Marquardt, Romisckt Staatrotr&altung 
(Leipdc, 1885), Hi.* 77-81 ; E. Renan, 

Marc-Aurele et la fin du Monde Antique 
(Paris, 1882), pp. 570 sqq. ; J. Reville, 
La religion romaine & Rome sous les 
Stores (Paris, 1886), pp. 54-61 ; G. 
Lafaye, Histoire du culte des divinitis 
d* Alexandrie (Paris, 1884) ; E. Meyer 
and W. Drexler, s.v. "Isis," in W. H. 
Roscher's Lexikon dergrieck. und rom. 
Mythology, ii. 360 sqq. ; S. Dill, 
Roman Society in the Last Century of 
the Western Empire* (London, 1899), 
pp. 79 x?., 85 sqq. ; /., Roman Society 




dental. Ancient Egypt may have contributed its share 
to the gorgeous symbolism of the Catholic Church as well 
as to the pale abstractions of her theology. 1 Certainly in 
art the figure of Isis suckling the infant Horus is so like 
that of the Madonna and child that it has sometimes 
received the adoration of ignorant Christians. 2 And to 
Isis in her later character of patroness of mariners the 
Virgin Mary perhaps owes her beautiful epithet of Stella 
Marts, " Star of the Sea," under which she is adored by 
tempest-tossed sailors. 3 The attributes of a marine deity 
may have been bestowed on Isis by the sea-faring Greeks 
of Alexandria. They are quite foreign to her original 
character and to the habits of the Egyptians, who had no 
love of the sea. 4 On this hypothesis Sirius, the bright star 
of Isis, which on July mornings rises from the glassy waves 
of the eastern Mediterranean, a harbinger of halcyon weather 
to mariners, was the true Stella Marts, " the Star of the 

from Nero to Marcus Aurelius (Lon- 
don, 1904), pp. 560 sqq. The chief 
passage on the worship of Isis in the 
West is the eleventh book of Apuleius's 
Metamorphoses* On the reputation 
which the goddess enjoyed as a healer 
of the sick see Diodorus Siculus, i. 
25; W. Drexler, op. cit. ii. 521 
sgg. The divine partner of Isis in 
later times, especially outside of 
Egypt, was Serapis, that is Osiris- 
Apis (Asar-Hapi), the sacred Apis bull 
of Memphis, identified after death with 
Osiris. His oldest sanctuary was at 
Memphis (Pausanias, L 18. 4), and 
there was one at Babylon in the time 
of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, 
Alexander, 76 ; Arrian, Anabasis, vii. 
26). Ptolemy I. or 1 1. built a great and 
famous temple in his honour at Alex- 
andria, where he set up an image of 
the god which was commonly said 
to have been imported from Sinope 
in Ponms. See Tacitus, Histor. iv. 
83 sq*\ Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 27-29 ; 
Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. iv. 
48, p. 42 ed. Potter. In after ages 
the institution of the worship of Serapis 

was attributed to this Ptolemy, but all 
that the politic Macedonian monarch 
appears to have done was to assimilate 
the Egyptian Osiris to the Greek Pluto, 
and so to set up a god whom Egyptians 
and Greeks could unite in worshipping. 
Serapis gradually assumed the attributes 
of Aesculapius, the Greek god of heal- 
ing, in addition to those of Pluto, the 
Greek god of the dead. See G. Lafaye, 
Histoirc du culte dcs divinitis dAlex- 
andrie, pp. 16 sqq. ; A. Wiedemann, 
Herodots zweites Buck, p. 589 ; E. 
A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the 
Egyptians, ii. 195 sqq. ; A. Erman, 
Die agyptische Religion? pp. 237 sq. 

1 The resemblance of Isis to the 
Virgin Mary has often been pointed 
out. See W. Drexler, s.v. "Isis," 
in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon dergricch. 
und rihn. Mythologie, ii. 428 sqq. 

2 W. Drexler, op. cit. ii. 430 sq. 

3 Th. Trede, Das Heidentum in der 
romischen Kircke (Gotha, 1889-1891), 
iii. 144 sq. 

4 On this later aspect of Isis see 
W, Drexler, op. cit. ii. 474 



Osiris in- OsiRIS has been sometimes interpreted as the sun-god; 

ia Sf sun an< * m modern times this view has been held by so many 

by many distinguished writers that it deserves a brief examination. 

writ M we inquire on what evidence Osiris has been identified 
with the sun or the sun-god, it will be found on analysis 
to be minute in quantity and dubious, where it is not 
absolutely worthless, in quality. The diligent Jablonski, the 
first modern scholar to collect and sift the testimony of 
classical writers on Egyptian religion, says that it can be 
shown in many ways that Osiris is the sun, and that he 
could produce a cloud of witnesses to prove it, but that it is 
needless to do so, since no learned man is ignorant of the 
fact 1 Of the writers whom he condescends to quote, the 
only two who expressly identify Osiris with the sun are 
Diodorus and Macrobius. The passage in Diodorus runs 
thus : 2 "It is said that the aboriginal inhabitants of Egypt, 
looking up to the sky, and smitten with awe and wonder at 
the nature of the universe, supposed that there were two 
gods, eternal and primaeval, the sun and the moon, of whom 
they named the sun Osiris and the moon Isis." Even if 
Diodorus's authority for this statement is Manetho, as there 
is some ground for believing, 3 little or no weight can be 
attached to it For it is plainly a philosophical, and there- 
fore a late, explanation of the first beginnings of Egyptian 
religion, reminding us of Kant's familiar saying about 
the starry heavens and the moral law rather than of the 

1 P. E. Jablonski, Pantheon Aegyp* * Diodorus Siculus, i II. I. 
tiorum {Frankfort, 1750-1752), i. 125 
? * Seep. 1 1 6, note*. 



rude traditions of a primitive people. Jablonskfs second 
authority, Macrobius, is no better, but rather worse. For 
Macrobius was the father of that large family of myth- 
ologists who resolve all or most gods into the sun. Accord- 
ing to him Mercury was the sun, Mars was the sun, Janus 
was the sun, Saturn was the sun, so was Jupiter, also 
Nemesis, likewise Pan, and so on through a great part of 
the pantheon. 1 It was natural, therefore, that he should 
identify Osiris with the sun, 2 but his reasons for doing so 
are exceedingly slight He refers to the ceremonies of 
alternate lamentation and joy as if they reflected the 
vicissitudes of the great luminary in his course through the 
sky. Further, he argues that Osiris must be the sun 
because an eye was one of his symbols. It is true that 
an eye was a symbol of Osiris, 8 and it is also true that the 
sun was often called ' the eye of Horus " ; * yet the co- 
incidence hardly suffices to establish the identity of the two 
deities. The opinion that Osiris was the sun is also 
mentioned, but not accepted, by Plutarch, 5 and it is referred 
to by Firmicus Maternus. 6 

Amongst modern scholars, Lepsius, in identifying Osiris The later 
with the sun, appears to rely mainly on the passage of ^^ 
Diodorus already quoted But the monuments, he adds, Osiris with 
also show that down to a late time Osiris was sometimes s ^_god, 
conceived as Ra. In this quality he is named Osiris-Ra does *' 

1 See Macrobius, Saturnalia, bk. L ing might be called a Horus-eye,' 

\ "V' 2 T \- l ' especially if offered to the dead. Ex- 

Plutarch M *t Osiris, 10 and cepting the sacred beetle, or scarab, 

j /? lr J * Wilkinson, Manners it became the commonest and the 

and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians most revered symbol known to 

(London, 1878), iii. 353; R. V. Egyptian religion, and the myriads 

Lanzone, Dtzzonario di Mitotogia of eyes, wrought in blue or green 

Egi*ia> pp. 782 sq. ; E. A. Wallis glaze, or even cut from costly stone, 

Budge, 73* Gods of the Egyptians, which fill our museum collections, and 

u. 1 13 sq. ; J. H. Breasted, Develop- are brought home by thousands by the 

nunt of Rehgion and Thought in modern tourist, are survivals of this 

Ancunt Egypt, pp. n 537. Strictly ancient story of Horus and his devo- 

speakmg, the eye was the eye of Horns, tion to his father" (J. H. Breasted, 

which the dutiful son sacrificed in op. cit. p. 31) 

> * 

the tradition and feeling of the * **** et Osirtf t 52. 

Egyptians, It became the symbol De errore profanarum retigionum, 

of all sacrifice; every gift or ofier- $. 


timi even in the * Book of the Dead,' and Isis is often called ' the 
Owns was j consort o f Ra/ " l That Ra was both the physical sun 

onginaiiy x . 1t ^ 

ih wm, and the sun-god is undisputed ; but with every deference 
for the authority of so great a scholar as Lepsius, we may 
doubt whether the identification of Osiris with Ra can 
be accepted as proof that Osiris was originally the sun. 
For the religion of ancient Egypt 2 may be described as 
a confederacy f l ca * cu ' ts which, while maintaining against 
each other a certain measure of jealous and even hostile 
attempts to independence, were yet constantly subjected to the fusing 
unify and and amalgamating influence of political centralization and 
philosophic thought. The history of the religion appears 

to have largely consisted of a struggle between these 
of Egypt, opposite forces or tendencies. On the one side there was 
the conservative tendency to preserve the local cults with all 
their distinctive features, fresh, sharp, and crisp as they had 
been handed down from an immemorial past On the other 
side there was the progressive tendency, favoured by the 
gradual fusion of the people under a powerful central 
government, first to dull the edge of these provincial dis- 
tinctions, and finally to break them down completely and 
merge them in a single national religion. The conservative 
party probably mustered in its ranks the great bulk of the 
people, their prejudices and affections being warmly enlisted 
in favour of the local deity, with whose temple and rites 
they had been familiar from childhood ; and the popular 
dislike of change, based on the endearing effect of old 
association, must have been strongly reinforced by the less 
disinterested opposition of the local clergy, whose material 
interests would necessarily suffer with any decay of their 
shrines. On the other hand the kings, whose power and 
glory rose with the political and ecclesiastical consolidation 
of the realm, were the natural champions of religious unity ; 
and their efforts would be seconded by the refined and 

, " Uber den ersten of Egyptian religion is based on the 

Gotterkreis und seine sketch in Ad. Erman's Acgypten und 

gescbkhtlkh-mythologische Entsteh- acgyptisckes Lcben im Altertum* pp. 

mng,** in Akkandlungen der k&nig- 351 w . Compare C. P, Tiele, Ge- 

tekem Akadtmit &r Wi$unscka/tm *u schichU cUr Religion im Alttrttem 

B*rKn f 1851, pp, 194 ^. (Gotha, 1896-1903), i. 79 j. 
f The view here taken of tfce histoty 




thoughtful minority, who could hardly fail to be shocked by 
the many barbarous and revolting elements in the local 
rites. As usually happens in such cases, the process of 
religious unification appears to have been largely effected 
by discovering points of similarity, real or imaginary, between 
the provincial deities, which were thereupon declared to be 
only different names or manifestations of the same god. 

Of the deities who thus acted as centres of attraction, Most 
absorbing in themselves a multitude of minor divinities, by E g7P tian 

TOdS \VGTfi 

far the most important was the sun-god Ra. There appear at some 
to have been few gods in Egypt who were not at one time [^ntified 
or other identified with him. Ammon of Thebes, Horus of with the 
the East, Horus of Edfu, Chnum of Elephantine, Turn of SUD ' 
Heiiopolis, all were regarded as one god, the sun. Even 
the water-god Sobk, in spite of his crocodile shape, did not 
escape the same fate. Indeed one king, Amenophis IV., Attempt of 
undertook to sweep away all the old gods at a stroke and en P h " 
replace them by a single god, the " great living disc of the abolish ail 
sun." l In the hymns composed in his honour, this deity is 
referred to as " the living disc of the sun, besides whom there god. 
is none other." He is said to have made " the far heaven * 
and "men, beasts, and birds; he strengtheneth the eyes 
with his beams, and when he showeth himself, all flowers 

1 On this attempted revolution in 
religion see Lepsius, in Verhandhtngen 
der konigl. Akad. der Wissenschaften 
m Berlin, 1851, pp. 196-201 ; A. 
Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches 
Leben im Altertum, pp. 74 s?., 355- 
357; id., Die agyptische Religion* 
pp. 76-84 j H. Brugsch, History of 
Egypt (London, 1879), i. 441 sqq. ; 
A. Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte 
(Gotha, 1884), pp. 396 sqq.\ id., Die 
Religion der alien Agypter, pp. 20-22 j 
, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, 
pp. 35-43; C- *> Tiele, Geschichte der 
Religion im Altertum, i. 84-92 ; G. 
MasperOj.SiV/0/r* ancienne des Peuples 
de P Orient Classique, ii. 316 sqq* ; 
E. A. Waliis Budge, The Cods of the 
Egyptians, ii. 68-84 J J. H. Breasted, 
History of the Ancient Egyptians (Lon- 
don, 1908), pp. 264-289 ; A. Moret, 
Kings and Gods of Egypt (New 
York and London, 1912), pp. 41-68. 

A very sympathetic account of this 
remarkable religious reformer is given 
by Professor J. H. Breasted (De- 
velopment of Religion and Thought 
in Ancient Egypt, pp. 319-343). 
Amenophis IV. reigned from about 
1375 to 1358 B.C. His new capital, 
Akhetaton, the modern Tell-el-Amarna, 
was on the right bank of the Nile, 
between Memphis and Thebes, The 
king has been described as " of all the 
Pharaohs the most curious and at the 
same time the most enigmatic figure." 
To explain his bodily and mental 
peculiarities some scholars conjectured 
that through his mother, Queen Tii, 
he might have had Semitic blood in bis 
veins. But this theory appears to have 
been refuted by the discovery in 1905 
of the tomb of Queen Tii's parents, the 
contents of which are of pure Egyptian 
style. See A. Moret, op. at. pp. 

46 Sff. 


live and grow, the meadows flourish at his upgoing and 
are drunken at his sight, all cattle skip on their feet, 
and the birds that are in the marsh flutter for joy." It is 
he "who bringeth the years, createth the months, maketh 
the days, calculateth the hours, the lord of time, by whom 
fhen reckon." In his zeal for the unity of god, the king 
commanded to erase the names of all other gods from the 
monuments, and to destroy their images. His rage was 
particularly directed against the god Ammon, whose name 
and likeness were effaced wherever they were found ; even 
the sanctity of the tomb was violated in order to destroy 
the memorials of the hated deity. In some of the halls of 
the great temples at Carnac, Luxor, and other places, all the 
names of the gods, with a few chance exceptions, were 
scratched out The monarch even changed his own name, 
Amenophis, because it was compounded of Ammon, and 
took instead the name of Chu-en-aten, " gleam of the sun's 
disc/' Thebes itself, the ancient capital of his glorious 
ancestors, full of the monuments of their piety and idolatry, 
was no longer a fit home for the puritan king. He deserted 
it, and built for himself a new capital in Middle Egypt 
at the place now known as Tell-el-Amarna. Here in a 
few years a city of palaces and gardens rose like an 
exhalation at his command, and here the king, his dearly 
loved wife and children, and his complaisant courtiers 
led a merry life. The grave and sombre ritual of Thebes 
was discarded. The sun-god was worshipped with songs 
and hymns, with the music of harps and flutes, with 
offerings of cakes and fruits and flowers. Blood seldom 
stained his kindly altars. The king himself celebrated the 
offices of religion. He preached with unction, and we may 
be sure that his courtiers listened with at least an outward 
semblance of devotion. From the too-faithful portraits of 
himself which he has bequeathed to us we can still picture 
to ourselves the heretic king in the pulpit, with his tall, 
lanky figure, his bandy legs, his pot-belly, his long, lean,' 
haggard face aglow with the fever of religious fanaticism. 
Yet tt ^the doctrine," as he loved to call it, which he 
proclaimed to his hearers was apparently no stern message 
of renunciation in this world, of terrors in the world to 


come. The thoughts of death, of judgment, and of a 
life beyond the grave, which weighed like a nightmare 
on the minds of the Egyptians, seern to have been 
banished for a time. Even the name of Osiris, the 
awful judge of the dead, is not once mentioned in the 
graves at Tell-el-Amarna. All this lasted only during the Failure 
life of the reformer. His death was followed by a violent th 


reaction. The old gods were reinstated in their rank and 
privileges : their names and images were restored, and new 
temples were built But all the shrines and palaces reared 
by the late king were thrown down: even the sculptures 
that referred to him and to his god in rock-tombs and on 
the sides of hills were erased or filled up with stucco : his 
name appears on no later monument, and was carefully 
omitted from all official lists. The new capital was 
abandoned, never to be inhabited again. Its plan can 
still be traced in the sands of the desert. 

This attempt of King Amenophis IV. is only an ex- 
treme example of a tendency which appears to have 
affected the religion of Egypt as far back as we can 
trace it Therefore, to come back to our point, in attempt- identifica- 
ing to discover the original character of any Egyptian god, J^^ 
no weight can be given to the identification of him with noevideDc* 
other gods, least of all with the sun-god Ra. Far from ^nai 
helping to follow up the trail, these identifications only cross character 
and confuse it The best evidence for the original character Egyptian 
of the Egyptian gods is to be found in their ritual and ^ 
myths, so far as these are known, and in the manner in 
which they are portrayed on the monuments. It is mainly 
on evidence drawn from these sources that I rest my 
interpretation of Osiris. 

The ground upon which some modern writers seem chiefly The solar 
to rely for the identification of Osiris with the sun is that oSriTdlL 
the story of his death fits better with the solar phenomena not explain 
than with any other in nature. It may readily be admitted a 
that the daily appearance and disappearance of the sun rectjon. 
might very naturally be expressed by a myth of his death 
and resurrection ; and writers who regard Osiris as the sun 
are careful to indicate that it is the diurnal, and not the 
annual, course of the sun to which they understand the 





The death 
and resur- 
rection of 
arc more 

by the 
decay and 

growth of 

myth to apply. Thus Renouf, who identified Osiris with 
the sun, admitted that the Egyptian sun could not with any 
show of reason be described as dead in winter. 1 But if his 
daily death was the theme of the legend, why was it celebrated 
by an annual ceremony ? This fact alone seems fatal to the 
interpretation of the myth as descriptive of sunset and sun- 
rise. Again, though the sun may be said to die daily, in 
what sense can he be said to be torn in pieces ? * 

In the course of our inquiry it has, I trust, been made 
clear that there is another natural phenomenon to which the 
conception of death and resurrection is as applicable as to 
sunset and sunrise, and which, as a matter of fact, has been 
so conceived and represented in folk-custom. That pheno- 
menon is the annual growth and decay of vegetation. A 
strong reason for interpreting the death of Osiris as the 
decay of vegetation rather than as the sunset is to be found 
in the general, though not unanimous, voice of antiquity, 
which classed together the worship and myths of Osiris, 
Adonis, Attis, Dionysus, and Demeter, as religions of 
essentially the same type. 8 The consensus of ancient 

1 P. Le Page Renouf, Lectures on 
tkt Origin and Growth of Religion* 
(London, 1884), p. 113. 

8 The late eminent scholar C. P. 
Tiele, who formerly interpreted Osiris 
as a sun-god (History of Egyptian Re- 
ligion^ pp. 43 sqq.}, afterwards adopted 
a view of his nature which approaches 
more nearly to the one advocated in 
this book. See his Geschichte der Re- 
Hgim im AUertum^ i 35 j^., 123. 
Professor Ed. Meyer also formerly 
regarded Osiris as a sun-god ; he now 
interprets him as a great vegetation 
god, dwelling in the depths of the 
earth and causing the plants and 
trees to spring from it The god's 
symbol, the ded pillar (see above, pp, 
loS ff.) ke takes to be a tree-trunk 
with cross -beams. See Ed. Meyer, 
GcsckichU des Altertums^ L p. 67, 57 
(first edition, 1884) ; , L l 2. pp. 70, 
84, 87 (second edition, 1909). Sir 
Gaston Maspero has also abandoned the 
theory that Osiris was the sun; he 
BOW supposes that the deity originally 
personified the Nile, See his Histeire 

ancienne* (Paris, 1886), p. 35; and 
his Histoire ancienne des Peuples de 
fOrient Classiquc, i. (Paris, 1895), 
p. 130. Dr. E. A. \Vallis Budge also 
formerly interpreted Osiris as the Nile 
(The Gods of the Egyptians > i. 122, 
123), and this view was held by some 
ancient writers (Plutarch, his et Osiris^ 
32, 34, 36, 38, 39). Compare Miss 
M. A. Murray, The Osireion at Abydos 
(London, 1904), p. 29. Dr. Budge 
now explains Osiris as a deified king. 
See his Osiris and the Egyptian Resur- 
reetion^ vol. i. pp. xviii, 30 sq.* 37, 66 
s?., 168, 254, 256, 290, 300, 312, 
384. As to this view see below, 
pp. 158 sqq. 

8 For the identification of Osiris 
with Dionysus, and of Isis with 
Demeter, see Herodotus, ii. 42, 49, 
59, 144, 156 ; Plutarch, /w et Osiris, 
*3 35 J Diodorus Siculus, i. 13, 25, 
96, iv. x ; Orphica^ Hymn 42; Eusebius, 
Pracpar* Evang. iii. 1 1. 31 ; Servius on 
Virgil, Ac*, ad. 287 ; ft, on Virgil, 
Georg. L 1 66 ; J. Tzetzes, Schol. on 
Lycophron t 212; AiTn^tara, xxii. 2, 




opinion on this subject seems too great to be rejected as a 
mere fancy. So closely did the rites of Osiris resemble 
those of Adonis at Byblus that some of the people of 
Byblus themselves maintained that it was Osiris and not 
Adonis whose death was mourned by them. 1 Such a view 
could certainly not have been held if the rituals of the two 
gods had not been so alike as to be almost indistinguishable. 
Herodotus found the similarity between the rites of Osiris 
and Dionysus so great, that he thought it impossible the 
latter could have arisen independently ; they must, he 
supposed, have been recently borrowed, with slight alterations, 
by the Greeks from the Egyptians. 2 Again, Plutarch, a very 
keen student of comparative religion, insists upon the de- 
tailed resemblance of the rites of Osiris to those of Dionysus. 8 
We cannot reject the evidence of such intelligent and trust- 
worthy witnesses on plain matters of fact which fell under 
their own cognizance. Their explanations of the worships 
it is indeed possible to reject, for the meaning of religious 
cults is often open to question ; but resemblances of ritual 
are matters of observation. Therefore, those who explain 
Osiris as the sun are driven to the alternative of either 
dismissing as mistaken the testimony of antiquity to the 
similarity of the rites of Osiris, Adonis, Attis, Dionysus, 
and Demeter, or of interpreting all these rites as sun-worship. 
No modern scholar has fairly faced and accepted either side 
of this alternative. To accept the former would be to affirm 

in Mythographi Grtuct, ed. A. Wester- 
mann (Brunswick, 1843), p. 368 ; 
Nonnus, Dionys. iv. 269 sg. ; Cornutus, 
Theologian Grcecae Compendium, 28 ; 
Ausonius, Epigrammata, 29 and 30. 
For the identification of Osiris with 
Adonis and Attis see Stephanas 
Byzantius, s.v. 'A^ta^ous; Damascius, 
"Vita Isodori," in Photius, Biblio- 
tkeca, ed. Im. Bekker (Berlin, 1824), 
p. 343, lines 21 sq. ; Hippolytus, 
Refidatio omnium kaeresium, v. 9. p, 
1 68 ed. Duncker and Schneidewin ; 
Orphica, Hymn 42. For the identi- 
fication of Attis, Adonis, and Dionysus 
see Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastua, iii. 
23 (Migne's Patrologia Graeca., Ixvii. 
448); Plutarch, Quacstiones Con- 
i iv. 5. 3 ; Clement of Alex- 

andria, Prctrept. ii. 19, p. 16 ed. 

1 Lucian, DC dea Syria, 7. Accord- 
ing to Professor Ed. Meyer, the rela- 
tions of Egypt to Byblus were very- 
ancient and close; he even suggests 
that there may have been from early 
times an Egyptian colony, or at all 
events an Egyptian military post, in 
the city. The commercial importance 
of Byblus arose from its possession 
of the fine cedar forests on the Lebanon; 
the timber was exported to Egypt, 
where it was in great demand. See 
Ed. Meyer, Gtsckichte des AlUrtumtf 
L a. pp. xix, 391 jg?. 

1 Herodotus, ii. 49. 

1 Plutarch, /sis ft Osiris, 35. 


that we know the rites of these deities better than the men 
who practised, or at least who witnessed them. To accept 
the latter would involve a wrenching, clipping, mangling, and 
distorting of myth and ritual from which even Macrobius 
shrank, 1 On the other hand, the view that the essence of all 
these rites was the mimic death and revival of vegetation 
explains them separately and collectively in an easy and 
natural way, and harmonizes with the general testimony 
borne by the ancients to their substantial similarity. 

1 Osiris, Attis, Adonis, and Dionysus however, he interpreted as the moon, 
were all resolved by him into the sun ; See the Saturnalia^ bk. i 
bat he spared Demeter (Ceres), whom, 



BEFORE we conclude this study of Osiris it will be Osiris was 
worth while to consider an ancient view of his nature ? ometimes 

, . . i , ' interpreted 

which deserves more attention than it has received in by the 
modern times. We are told by Plutarch that among 1 the ^l 10 " 511153 * 

o me moon* 

philosophers who saw in the gods of Egypt personifications 
of natural objects and forces, there were some who inter- 
preted Osiris as the moon and his enemy Typhon as the 
sun, "because the moon, with her humid and generative 
light, is favourable to the propagation of animals and the 
growth of plants ; while the sun with his fierce fire scorches 
and burns up all growing things, renders the greater part 
of the earth uninhabitable by reason of his blaze, and often 
overpowers the moon herself." l Whatever may be thought 
of the physical qualities here attributed to the moon, the 
arguments adduced by the ancients to prove the identity of 
Osiris with that luminary carry with them a weight which 
has at least not been lightened by the results of modern 
research. An examination of them and of other evidence 
pointing in the same direction will, perhaps, help to set the 
original character of the Egyptian deity in a clearer light. 2 

1, Osiris was said to have lived or reigned twenty-eight 
years. This might fairly be taken as a mythical expression 
for a lunar month. 3 

2. His body was reported to have been rent into fourteen 
pieces. 4 This might be interpreted of the waning moon, 

1 Plutarch, fsis et Osiris, 41. 384 sgg. 

2 On Osiris as a moon-god see E. 3 Plutarch, Jsts et Osiris, 13, 42. 
A. Walk's Budge, Osiris and the * Ibid. 1 8, 42. The hieroglyphic 
Egyptian Resurrection, L 19-22, 59, texts sometimes speak of fourteen 





of the 
of Osiris 
with the 

which appears to lose a portion of itself on each of the four- 
teen days that make up the second half of a lunar month. 
It is expressly said that his enemy Typhon found the body 
of Osiris at the full moon ; l thus the dismemberment of the 
god would begin with the waning of the moon. To primitive 
man it seems manifest that the waning moon is actually 
dwindling, and he naturally enough explains its diminution 
by supposing that the planet is being rent or broken in 
pieces or eaten away. The Klamath Indians of Oregon 
speak of the moon as "the one broken to pieces" with 
reference to its changing aspect ; they never apply such a 
term to the sun, 2 whose apparent change of bulk at different 
seasons of the year is far too insignificant to attract the 
attention of the savage, or at least to be described by him in 
such forcible language. The Dacotas believe that when the 
moon is full, a great many little mice begin to nibble at one 
side of it and do not cease till they have eaten it all up, 
after which a new moon is born and grows to maturity, only 
to share the fate of its countless predecessors. 3 A similar 
belief is held by the Huzuls of the Carpathians, except that 
they ascribe the destruction of the old moon to wolves 
instead of to mice. 4 

3. At the new moon of the month Phamenoth, which 
was the beginning of spring, the Egyptians celebrated what 
they called " the entry of Osiris into the moon." 5 

4. At the ceremony called "the burial of Osiris' 1 the 
Egyptians made a crescent - shaped chest "because the 
moon, when it approaches the sun, assumes the form of a 
crescent and vanishes.'* * 

5. The bull Apis, held to be an image of the soul of 
Osiris, 7 was born of a cow which was believed to have been 

pieces, and sometimes of sixteen, or 
ewn eighteen. But fourteen seems to 
have been the true number, because 
the inscriptions of Denderah, which 
refer to Ae rites of Osiris, describe the 
mystic image of the god as composed 
of fourteen pieces. See E. A. Wallis 
Budge, The Geds f tte Egyptians^ il 
Z26 sq. ; *<, Osiris end th* Egyptian 
KtsttrretttMt* i, 386 sy. 
1 Plutarch, /> et Osiris, & 

* A. S. Gatschet, The Klamath 
Indians of South- Western Oregon 
(Washington, 1890), p. Ixxxix. 

3 S. R. Riggs, Dakota Grammar^ 
Texts t and Ethnography (Washington, 

i893) P- x& 

* R. F. Kaindl, Die Huzuhn 
(Vienna, 1894), P* 97- 

* Plutarch, fsis tt Osiris, 43. 

* Ibid. 43. 

T Ibid. 2O 3 29. 



impregnated, not in the vulgar way by a bull, but by a divine 
influence emanating from the moon. 1 

6. Once a year, at the full moon, pigs were sacrificed 
simultaneously to the moon and Osiris. 2 

7. In a hymn supposed to be addressed by Isis to Osiris, 
it is said that Thoth 

" Placeth thy soul in the bark Ma-at^ 
In that name which is thine, of GOD 

And again : 

" Thou who contest to us as a child each month^ 
We do not cease to contemplate thee. 
Thine emanation heightens the brilliancy 
Of the stars of Orion in the firmament " 8 

Here then Osiris is identified with the moon in set terms. 
If in the same hymn he is said to ** illuminate us like Ra " 
(the sun), that is obviously no reason for identifying him with 
the sun, but quite the contrary. For though the moon may 
reasonably be compared to the sun, neither the sun nor 
anything else can reasonably be compared to itself. 

8. In art Osiris is sometimes represented as a human- 
headed mummy grasping in his hands his characteristic 
emblems and wearing on his head, instead of the usual 
crown, a full moon within a crescent. 4 

Now if in one of his aspects Osiris was originally a The identi. 
deity of vegetation, we can easily enough understand Q C s ^j n of 
why in a later and more philosophic age he should with the 
come to be thus identified or confounded with the moon. 5 moon 

appears to 

For as soon as he begins to meditate upon the causes of be based 

AsdrAaA, i.e, ' Osiris the Moon,' there 
are so many passages which prove 
beyond all doubt that at one period at 
least Osiris was the Moon-god, that it 
is difficult to understand why Diodorus 
stated that Osiris was the sun and Isis 
the moon" <E. A. Wallis Budge, op. 
tit. i. 21). 

* E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris and the 
Egyptian Resurrection^ i, 59. 

6 According to C. P. T\z\t(Geschichte 
dtr Religion im Altertum^ i. 79) the 
conception of Osiris as the moon was 
late and never became popular. This 
entirely accords with the view adopted 
in the text. 

1 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 43 ; *#., 
Quaest. Conviv. viii. I. 3. Compare 
Herodotus, iii. 28; Aelian, Nat. Anim. 
xi. 10 ; Mela, L 9. 58. 

8 Herodotus, ii. 47 ; Plutarch, Isis 
et Osiris, 8. As to pigs in relation to 
Osiris, see Spirits of the Corn and of 
the Wild) ii. 24 sqq. 

3 P. J. de Horrack, ' Lamentations 
of Isis and Nephthys," Records of the 
/te, ii. (London, N.D.) pp. 121 sq*\ 
H. Brugsch, Religion und Mythologi* 
dcr alien Aegypter^ pp. 629 j^.; E. A. 
Wallis Budge, Osiris and the Egyptian 
Resurrection, i. 389. "Apart from 
the fact that Osiris is actually called 

oil a. com 




k. things, the early philosopher is led by certain obvious, 
though fallacious, appearances to regard the moon as the 
ultimate cause of the growth of plants. In the first place 
things he associates its apparent growth and decay with the 
deolywith growth and decay of sublunary things, and imagines that in 
the waxing v j rtue o f a se cret sympathy the celestial phenomena really 
of the produce those terrestrial changes which in point of fact they 
merely resemble. Thus Pliny says that the moon may fairly 
be considered the planet of breath, " because it saturates the 
earth and by its approach fills bodies, while by its departure 
it empties them. Hence it is," he goes on, "that shell-fish 
increase with the increase of the moon and that bloodless 
creatures especially feel breath at that time ; even the blood 
of men grows and diminishes with the light of the moon, and 
leaves and herbage also feel the same influence, since the 
lunar energy penetrates all things." 1 "There is no doubt," 
writes Macrobius, " that the moon is the author and framer 
of mortal bodies, so much so that some things expand or 
shrink as it waxes or wanes.* 1 2 Again, Aulus Gellius puts 
in the mouth of a friend the remark that " the same things 
which grow with the waxing, do dwindle with the waning 
moon," and he quotes from a commentary of Plutarch's on 
Hesiod a statement that the onion is the only vegetable 
which violates this great law of nature by sprouting in the 
wane and withering in the increase of the moon. 8 Scottish 
Highlanders allege that in the increase of the moon every- 
thing has a tendency to grow or stick together ; 4 and they 
call the second moon of autumn "the ripening moon" 
(Gealach an abachaidk\ because they imagine that crops 
ripen as much by its light as by day. 5 

Practical From this supposed influence of the moon on the life of 

^ plants and animals, men in ancient and modern times have 

this lunar deduced a whole code of rules for the guidance of the 
tbe< * 3r ' husbandman, the shepherd, and others in the conduct of 

1 Pliny, Nat. Hist* ii. 221. * John Ramsay of Ochtertyre, 

* Macrobius, Comment, in somnium land and Scotsmen in tht Eighteenth 

Stipianis, i. II. 7. Century, edited by A. Allardyce (Edin- 

3 Aulus Gellius, xx. 8. For the burgh and London, 1888), ii. 449. 

opinions of the ancients on this subject * J. G. Campbell, Witchcraft and 

see farther W, H. Roscher, UbcrSelent Second Sight in the Highlands and 

mat ^VraiM^'^(Leipsic, 1 890), pp. 6l Islands of Scotland (Glasgow, 1902), 





their affairs. Thus an ancient writer on agriculture lays it 
down as a maxim, that whatever is to be sown should be 
sown while the moon is waxing, and that whatever is to be 
cut or gathered should be cut or gathered while it is waning. 1 
A modern treatise on superstition describes how the super- 
stitious man regulates all his conduct by the moon : " What- 
ever he would have to grow, he sets about it when she is in 
her increase ; but for what he would have made less he 
chooses her wane." 2 In Germany the phases of the moon 
are observed by superstitious people at all the more or even 
less important actions of life, such as tilling the fields, 
building or changing houses, marriages, hair-cutting, bleeding, 
cupping, and so forth. The particular rules vary in different 
places, but the principle generally followed is that whatever is 
done to increase anything should be done while the moon 
is waxing ; whatever is done to diminish anything should 
be done while the moon is waning. For example, sowing, Supposed 
planting, and grafting should be done in the first half of "J^enct 
the moon, but the felling of timber and mowing should be phases of 
done in 'the second half. 8 In various parts of Europe it ^ n 
is believed that plants, nails, hair, and corns, cut while the operations 
moon is on the increase, will grow again fast, but that if cut husbandry 
while it is on the decrease they will grow slowly or waste 

1 Palladius, De re rustica^ i. 34. 8. 
Compare id. i. 6. 12 ; Pliny, Nat. Hist. 
acviii. 321, " omnia quae caeduntur^ 
carpuntur^ tondentur innocentius de- 
crescents luna quam creseente fiunt" ; 
Gtoponica^ i 6. 8, TLV& 

BLvotiffip rSJs ffe\7)V7]s dXXci 

8 J. Brand, Popular Antiquities of 
Great Britain (London, 1882-1883), 
iii. 144, quoting Werenfels, Disserta- 
tion upon Superstition (London, 1748), 
p. 6. 

3 A. Wuttke, Derdeutsche Volksaber- 
glaube* (Berlin, 1869), 65, pp. 57 
sq. Compare J. Grimm, Deutsche 
Mytkokgu* (Berlin, 1875-1878), ii. 
595; Montanus, Die deutsche Volks- 
festt, Volksbrduche unddeutscher Volks- 
tfaube (Iserlohn, N.D.), p. 128; M. 
PxStorius, Deliciae Prussicae (Berlin, 
1871), p. 18; <X Schell, "Einige 


Bemerkungen liber den Mond im heuti- 
gen Glauben des bergischen Volkes," 
Am Ur-queH 9 v. (1894) p. 173. The 
rule that the grafting of trees should be 
done at the waxing of the moon is laid 
down by Pliny (Nat. Hist. xvii. 108). 
At Deutsch-Zepling in Transylvania, 
by an inversion of the usual custom, 
seed is generally sown at the waning 
of the moon (A. Heinrich, Agrariscfo 
Sitten und Gebrauche unter den Sathsen 
SiebenburgenS) Hermannstadt, 1880, p. 
7). Some French peasants also prefer 
to sow in the wane (F. Chapiseau, 
Folk-lore de la Beauce et du Percke % 
Paris, 1902, i. 291). In the Abruzri 
also sowing and grafting are commonly 
done when the moon is on the wane ; 
timber that is to be durable must be 
cut in January during the moon's de- 
crease (G. Finamore, Credenu, Usi e 
Costumi Abruzzesi, Palermo, 1890, p. 




BOOK in 

away. 1 Hence persons who wish their hair to grow thick 
and long should cut it in the first half of the moon. 2 On 
the same principle sheep are shorn when the moon is 
waxing, because it is supposed that the wool will then 
be longest and most enduring. 3 Some negroes of the 
Gaboon think that taro and other vegetables never thrive 
if they are planted after full moon, but that they grow fast 
and strong if they are planted in the first quarter. 4 The 
Highlanders of Scotland used to expect better crops of 
grain by sowing their seed in the moon's increase. 5 On the 
other hand they thought that garden vegetables, such as 
onions and kail, run to seed if they are sown in the increase, 
but that they grow to pot-herbs if they are sown in 
the wane,* So Thomas Tusser advised the peasant to 
sow peas and beans in the wane of the moon " that they 
with the planet may rest and arise." 7 The Zulus welcome 

1 P. SibUlot, Traditions et Supersti- 
tions de /a Haute - Bretagnt (Paris, 
1882), it 355 ; L. F. Sauve\ Folk-lore 
des HauteS'Vosges (Paris, 1889), p. 5 ? 
J. Brand, Popular Antiquities of 
Great Britain, iii. 150; Holzmayer, 
" Osiliana," Verhandlungen der 
gkhrten Estnichen Gesellschaft *u 

Dorpat* vU. (1872) p. 47* 

1 The rule is mentioned by Varro, 
Rerum Rusticarum> L 37 (where we 
should probably read "ne decrescente 
t&ndens cahusjfam," and refer istatc to 
the former member of the preceding 
sentence) ; A. Wattke, /.& ; Mon- 
tanos, op. cit. p. 128; P. Sfbillot, 
Lc ; E, Meier, Deutsche Sagen* Sitten 
und Ge&ravcke out Schwaben (Stuttgart, 
1852), p. 511, 421 j W. J. A. von 
Tettan nod J. D. H. Temme, Du 
Ostprstts$ens t Litthauens 

und Wtstprwssens (Berlin, 1837), p. 
283 ; A, Kubn, Martescke Sage* und 

Marehcn (Berlin, I $4 3). P* 3 86 ' 9 2 ; 
L. Schindeia, in Bavaria^ Landes- tutd 
Vtlkskundc da Konigrttiks Bayern 
(Manich, 1860-1867), iv.*2, p. 402 ; 
F. S. Krauss, Volksgauoc vndrdigwser 
Brauch dtr Siidslavtn (Munster, i. W. 
1890), p, i$J K Kranse, "Aber- 
g^uibbche Karen and sonstiger Aber- 
gknbe in Berlin," Zeitekrift fur 
, XT. (1883) p. 91; R. 

Wuttke, S&hsischc Volkskunde a (Dres- 
den, 1901), p. 369 ; C. S. Burne and 
G. F. Jackson, Shropshire Folk-lore 
(London, 1883), p. 259. The reason 
assigned in the text was probably the 
original one in all cases, though it is 
not always the one alleged now. 

* F. S. Krauss, op. cit. p. 1 6 ; 

Montanus, I.e. ; Varro, Rerum Rusti- 

carum, i. 37 (see above, note a ). How- 

ever, the opposite rule is observed in 

the Upper Vosges, where it is thought 

that if the sheep are shorn at the new 

moon the quantity of wool will be much 

less than if they were shorn in the 

waning of the moon (L. F. Sauve*, 

Folk-lore des Hautes- Vosges, p. 5). In 

the Bocage of Normandy, also, wool is 

dipped during the waning of the moon ; 

otherwise moths would get into it (J. 

Lecceur, Msquisses du Bocoge Normand, 

Cond^-sur-Noireau, 1883-1887, ii. 12). 

* Father Lejeune, " Dans la forSt," 
Missions Catholiques> xxviL (1895) p. 


* S. Qbosan* Journey to the Western 

Islands of Scotland (Baltimore, 1810), 

p. 183. 

J. G. Campbell, Witchcraft and 
Second Sight in the Highlands and 
Islands of Scotland^ p. 306. 

T Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred 
Points of Good Husbandry* New 




the first appearance of the new moon with beating of drums 
and other demonstrations of joy ; but next day they abstain 
from all labour, " thinking that if anything is sown on those 
days they can never reap the benefit thereof." l But in this 
matter of sowing and planting a refined distinction is some- 
times drawn by French, German, and Esthonian peasants ; 
plants which bear fruit above ground are sown by them 
when the moon is waxing, but plants which are cultivated 
for the sake of their roots, such as potatoes and turnips, are 
sown when the moon is waning 2 The reason for this dis- 
tinction seems to be a vague idea that the waxing moon 
is coming up and the waning moon going down, and that 
accordingly fruits which grow upwards should be sown in 
the former period, and fruits which grow downwards in the 
latter. Before beginning to plant their cacao the Pipiles of 
Central America exposed the finest seeds for four nights to 
the moonlight, 3 but whether they did so at the waxing or 
waning of the moon is not said. Even pots, it would seem, 
are not exempt from this great law of nature. In Uganda 
** potters waited for the new moon to appear before baking 
their pots ; when it was some days old, they prepared their 
fires and baked the vessels. No potter would bake pots 
when the moon was past the full, for he believed that they 
would be a failure, and would be sure to crack or break In 
the burning, if he did so, and that his labour accordingly 
would go for nothing." 4 

Again, the waning of the moon has been commonly The 
recommended both in ancient and modern times as the P hases of 

_ / * n toe moon 

proper time for felling trees, apparently because it was in relation 

Edition (London, 1812), p. 107 (under 

1 Fairweather, in W. F. Owen's 
Narrative of Voyages to explore the 
Shores of Africa, Arabia, and Mada- 
gascar (London, 1833), ii. 396 sq. 

s A. Wuttke, Derdeutsche Volksaber- 
gtaube* 65, p. 58; J. Lecceur, kc. cit.; 
E. Meier, Deutsche Sagen> Sitten und 
Cebr&uche aus Schwaben^ p. 511, 
422; Th. Siebs, "Das Saterland," 
Zeitschrift fur Volkskunde, iii. (1893) 
p. 278 ; Holzmayer, op. at. p. 47. 

8 H. H. Bancroft, Native Races of 

the Pacific States (London, 1875- 
1876), ii. 719 sq: 

4 Rev. J. Roscoe, The B agon da 
(London, 1911), p. 402. 

fi Cato, De agri cultura, 37. 4$ 
Varro, Rerum Rusticarum, i. 37 ; 
Pliny, Nat. Hist. xvi. 190 ; Palladius, 
De re rustica, ii. 22, xii. 15 ; Plutarch, 
Quaest. Coniriv. iii. 10. 3 ; Macrobios, 
Saturn, vii. 16 ; A, Wuttke, Lc. i 
Bavaria, Landts- und Volkskunde des 
JConigrriths Bayern, iv. 2, p. 402 ; 
W. Kolbe, Hessischt Volks-SitUn und 
(Marburg, iSSS), p. 58; 



to the 

thought fit and natural that the operation of cutting down 
should be performed on earth at the time when the lunar 
orb was, so to say, being cut down in the sky. In France 
before the Revolution the forestry laws enjoined that trees 
should only be felled after the moon had passed the full ; 
and in French bills announcing the sale of timber you may 
still read a notice that the wood was cut in the waning of 
the moon. 1 So among the Shans of Burma, when a house 
is to be built, it is a rule that " a lucky day should be chosen 
to commence the cutting of the bamboos. The day must 
not only be a fortunate one for the builder, but it must also 
be in the second half of the month, when the moon is 
waning. Shans believe that if bamboos are cut during the 
first half of the month, when the moon is waxing, they do 
not last well, as boring insects attack them and they will 
soon become rotten. This belief is prevalent all over the 
East" 2 A like belief obtains in various parts of Mexico. 
No Mexican will cut timber while the moon is increasing ; 
they say it must be cut while the moon is waning or the wood 
will certainly rot 8 In Colombia, South America,' people think 
that corn should only be sown and timber felled when the 
moon is on the wane. They say that the waxing moon 
draws the sap up through the trunk and branches, whereas 
the sap flows down and leaves the wood dry during the 
wane of the moon. 4 But sometimes the opposite rule is 

I* F. Sauvl, Folk-lore des Hautes- 
Vosges> p. 5 ; F. Chapiseau, Folk-lore 
& la Btauct et du Percht, i. 291 sq. ; 
M. Martin, "Description of the 
Western Islands of Scotland," in J, 
Pinkerton's Voyages and Travels, iii. 
630 ; J. G, Campbell, Witchcraft and 
Second Sight in the Highlands and 
Islands of Scotland^ p. 306; G. 
Amalfi, Tradiiioni cd Usi nett&penin- 
sola Sorrentina. (Palermo, 1890), p. 
87; K. von den Stelnen, Unter den 
Natwvolktrn Zentral-BrasUiens (Ber- 
lin, 1894)1 P- 559^ Compare F. de 
CtstflniHy Expedition dans ks parties 
centrahs & FAmeriqw du Sud (Paris, 
1851-1852), iiL 438. Pliny, while 
lie says that the period from the 
twentieth to the thirtieth day of the 
knar month was the season generally 

recommended, adds that the best time 
of all, according to universal opinion, 
was the interlunar day, between the 
old and the new moon, when the 
planet is invisible through being in 
conjunction with the sun. 

1 J. Lecoeur, Esquisses du Bota&t 
Normand^ ii. n sq. 

2 Mrs. Leslie Milne, Shans at Home 
(London, 1910), p. 100. 

8 Letter of Mr. A S. F. Marshall, 
dated Hacienda " La Maronna/' Cd. 
Porfirio Diaz, Coah., Mexico, 2nd 
October 1908. The writer gives in- 
stances confirmatory of this belief, I 
have to thank Professor A. C. Seward 
of Cambridge for kindly showing me 
this letter. 

4 Letter of Mr. Francis S. Schlost 
to me, dated 58 New Cavendish 




adopted, and equally forcible arguments are urged in its 
defence. Thus, when the Wabondei of Eastern Africa are 
about to build a house, they take care to cut the posts for 
it when the moon is on the increase ; for they say that 
posts cut when the moon is wasting away would soon rot, 
whereas posts cut while the moon is waxing are very 
durable. 1 The same rule is observed for the same reason in 
some parts of Germany. 2 

But the partisans of the ordinarily received opinion have The moon 
sometimes supported it by another reason, which introduces T ^ ed 
us to the second of those fallacious appearances by which source of 
men have been led to regard the moon as the cause of growth moisture ' 
in plants. From observing rightly that dew falls most 
thickly on cloudless nights, they inferred wrongly that it 
was caused by the moon, a theory which the poet Alcman 
expressed in mythical form by saying that dew was a 
daughter of Zeus and the moon. 8 Hence the ancients con- 
cluded that the moon is the great source of moisture, as the 
sun is the great source of heat. 4 And as the humid power 
of the moon was assumed to be greater when the planet 
was waxing than when it was waning, they thought that 
timber cut during the increase of the luminary would be 
saturated with moisture, whereas timber cut in the wane 
would be comparatively dry. Hence we are told that in 
antiquity carpenters would reject timber felled when the 
moon was growing or full, because they believed that such 
timber teemed with sap ; 6 and in the Vosges at the present 
day people allege that wood cut at the new moon does not 
dry. 6 We have seen that the same reason is assigned for 
the same practice in Colombia. 7 In the Hebrides peasants 

Street, W., i2th May 1912. Mr. 
Schloss adds that "as a matter of 
practical observation, timber, etc., 
should only be felled when the moon 
is waning. This has been stated to me 
not only by natives, but also by English 
mining engineers of high repute, who 
have done work in Colombia." 

1 O. Baumann, Usambara und seine 
Nackbargcbiete (Berlin, 1891), p. 125. 

1 Montanus, Die deutscke Volksfeste^ 
VolksbraucJuunddeutscher Volksglaube, 
p. 12$. 

5 Plutarch, Quaest. C&tviv. iii. 10. 
3 ; Macrobius, Saturn. vii. ( 1 6. See 
further, W. H. Roscher, Uber Selene 
und Verwandtcs (Leipsic, 1890), pp. 

49 W 

4 Plutarch and Macrobius, //.: ; 
Pliny, Nat. Hist. ii. 223, xx. I ; 
Aristotle, Problematd) xxiv. 14, p. 
937 B 3 S V- cd ! Bekker (Berlin). 

6 Macrobius and Plutarch,* 
* L. F. Sauv, Folk- 

Vosges, p. 5. 
T Above, p. 1365. 


give the same reason for cutting their peats when the moon 
is on the wane ; " for they observe that if they are cut in 
the increase, they continue still moist and never burn clear 
nor are they without smoke, but the contrary is daily 
observed of peats cut in the decrease." l 
The moon, Thus misled by a double fallacy primitive philosophy 

rietedas comes to view the moon as the S reat cause of vegetable 
the cause growth, first, because the planet seems itself to grow, and 

gnwMi le second because it is supposed to be the source of dew 
naturally and moisture. It is no wonder, therefore, that agricultural 
peoples should adore the planet which they believe to 
influence so Profoundly the crops on which they depend 
for subsistence. Accordingly we find that in the hotter 
regions of America, where maize is cultivated and manioc is 
the staple food, the moon was recognized as the principal 
object of worship, and plantations of manioc were assigned 
to it as a return for the service it rendered in the production 
of the crops. The worship of the moon in preference to the 
sun was general among the Caribs, and, perhaps, also among 
most of the other Indian tribes who cultivated maize in the 
tropical forests to the east of the Andes; and the same 
thing has been observed, under the same physical conditions, 
among the aborigines of the hottest region of Peru, the 
northern valleys of Yuncapata. Here the Indians of Pacas- 
mayu and the neighbouring valleys revered the moon as 
their principal divinity. The " house of the moon ** at Pacas- 
inayu was the chief temple of the district; and the same 
sacrifices of maize-flour, of wine, and of children which were 
offered by the mountaineers of the Andes to the Sun-god, 
were offered by the lowlanders to the Moon-god in order 
that he might cause their crops to thrive. 2 In ancient 

1 M. Martin, Description of the the moon. Compare Sir E. B. Tylor, 
Western Islands of Scotland," in Primitive Culture* (London, 1873), 
J. Pinkerton's Voyages and Travels* i. 130. Payne suggests that the custom 

*"" W*T o of naming the months after the principal 

E. J. Payne, History of the New natural products that ripen in them may 

World talkd America* i. (Oxford, have contributed to the same result. 

fS92) P. 495- In his remarks on The custom is certainly very common 

tbfiongin of moon-worship this learned among savages, as I hope to show 

w philosophical historian has indicated elsewhere, but whether it has con- 

(#. **/. i. 493 W-) the true causes tributed to foster the fallacy in question 

which lead primitive man to trace the seems doubtful, 
growth of plant* to the influence of The Indians of Brazil are said to 




Babylonia, where the population was essentially agricultural, 
the moon-god took precedence of the sun-god and was 
indeed reckoned his father. 1 

Hence it would be no matter for surprise if, after Thus 
worshipping the crops which furnished them with the means Se 
of subsistence, the ancient Egyptians should in later times god, was 

^^* f m 

have identified the spirit of the corn with the moon, which i^mMted 
a false philosophy had taught them to regard as the with the 
ultimate cause of the growth of vegetation. In this way m n " 
we can understand why in their most recent forms the myth 
and ritual of Osiris, the old god of trees and corn, should 
bear many traces of efforts made to bring them into a 
superficial conformity with the new doctrine of his lunar 

pay more attention to the moon than 
to the sun, regarding it as a source 
both of good and ill. See J. B. von 
Spix und C. F. von Martius, Reise in 
Brasilien (Munich, 1823-1831), i. 379. 
The natives of Mori, a district of Central 
Celebes, believe that the rice -spirit 
Omonga lives in the moon and eats up 
the rice in the granary if he is not 
treated with due respect. See A. C. 
Kruijt, "Eenige ethnografische aantee- 
keningen omtrent de Toboengkoe en de 
Tomori,*' Mededtelingen van wege het 
Nederlandsche Zendelinggenootschapi 
xliv. (1900) p. 23 1. 

1 E. A. Budge, Nebuchadnezzar^ 
King of Babylon^ on rccently-discovertd 
inscriptions of this King^ pp. 5 sf. ; 
A. H. Sayce, Religion of the Ancient 
Babylonians^ p. 155 ; M. Jastrow, 
Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 
68 s$. t 75 sq. ; L. W. King, Babylonian 
Religion and Mythology (London, 
l8 99) PP- 17 J^- The Ahts of Van- 
couver Island, a tribe of fishers and 
hunters, view the moon as the husband 
of the sun and as a more powerful 
deity than her (G. M. Sproat, Scenes 
and Studies of Savage Life, London, 
1868, p. 206). 



Tfce IN the preceding chapter some evidence was adduced of the 

doctrine sympathetic influence which the waxing or waning moon is 

CH lunar J * . /r 

sympathy, popularly supposed to exert on growth, especially on the 

growth of vegetation. But the doctrine of lunar sympathy 

does not stop there ; it is applied also to the affairs of man, 

and various customs and rules have been deduced from it 

which aim at the amelioration and even the indefinite 

extension of human life. To illustrate this application of 

the popular theory at length would be out of place here, but 

a few cases may be mentioned by way of specimen. 

Theory The natural fact on which all the customs in question 

that ail seem to rest is the apparent monthly increase and decrease 

things wax r * 

or wane of the moon. From this observation men have inferred that 
all things simultaneously wax or wane in sympathy with it 1 
Thus the Mentras or Mantras of the Malay Peninsula have a 
tradition that in the beginning men did not die but grew 
thin with the waning of the moon, and waxed fat as she 
neared the full. 2 Of the Scottish Highlanders we are told 
that " the moon in her increase, full growth, and in her 
wane are with them the emblems of a rising, flourishing, 
and declining fortune. At the last period of her revolution 
they carefully avoid to engage in any business of importance ; 
but the first and middle they seize with avidity, presaging 
the most auspicious issue to their undertakings." 8 Similarly 

1 This principle is clearly recognized No. 10 (Singapore, 1883), p. 190 ; 

and well illustrated by J. Grimm W. W. Skeat and C. O. Blagden, 

(Deutstfa Mythologit* ii, 594-596). Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula 

* D. F. A. Hervey, "The Mentra (London, 1906), ii. 337. 
Traditions/' Journal of the Straits * Rev. J. Grant (parish minister of 

Branek */ the Royal Asiatic Society^ Kirkmichael), in Sir John Sinclair's 


with the 


in some parts of Germany it is commonly believed that 
whatever is undertaken when the moon is on the increase 
succeeds well, and that the full moon brings everything to 
perfection ; whereas business undertaken in the wane of the 
moon is doomed to failure. 1 This German belief has come 
down, as we might have anticipated, from barbaric times ; 
for Tacitus tells us that the Germans considered the new or 
the full moon the most auspicious time for business ; 2 and 
Caesar informs us that the Germans despaired of victory if 
they joined battle before the new moon. 8 The Spartans 
seem to have been of the same opinion, for it was a rule 
with them never to march out to war except when the moon 
was full. The rule prevented them from sending troops in 
time to fight the Persians at Marathon, 4 and but for 
Athenian valour this paltry superstition might have turned 
the scale of battle and decided the destiny of Greece, if not 
of Europe, for centuries. The Athenians themselves paid 
dear for a similar scruple : an eclipse of the moon cost them 
the loss of a gallant fleet and army before Syracuse, and 
practically sealed the fate of Athens, for she never recovered 
from the blow. 5 So heavy is the sacrifice which superstition 
demands of its votaries. In this respect the Greeks were 
on a level with the negroes of the Sudan, among whom, if a 
march has been decided upon during the last quarter of the 
moon, the departure is always deferred until the first day 
of the new moon. No chief would dare to undertake an 
expedition and lead out his warriors before the appearance 
of the crescent. Merchants and private persons observe the 
same rule on their journeys. 6 In like manner the Mandingoes 
of Senegambia pay great attention to the changes of the 
moon, and think it very unlucky to begin a journey or any 
other work of consequence in the last quarter. 7 

It is especially the appearance of the new moon, with 

Statistical Account of Scotland (Edin- astrologia> 25 ; Pausanias, i. 28. 4. 

burgh, I79I-I799), i. 457- * Thucydides, vii. 50. 

1 A. Kuhn und W. Schwartz, Nord- Le captaine Singer, Du Niger 

dtutscheSagtn.MarchenundGtbrauche au Golf* de Guintc (Paris, 1892), ii 

(Leipsic, 1848), p. 457, 419. 116. 

1 Tacitus, Gcrmania, zi. * Mungo Park, Trawls in tk* 

* Caesar, Dt Mlo Gallico, i. 50. Interior Districts of Africa* (London, 

4 Herodotus, vi 106; Lucian, Dt 1807), pp. 406.1?. 


TV *ts promise of growth and increase, which is greeted with 
ceremonies cerem onies intended to renew and invigorate, by means of 
sympathetic magic, the life of man. Observers, ignorant of 


are often sava g e superstition, have commonly misinterpreted such 
rather than customs as worship or adoration paid to the moon. In 

tain JOUS ' P* nt ^ ^ act ^ e ceremor " es * new moon are probably In 
many cases rather magical than religious. The Indians of 

the Ucayali River in Peru hail the appearance of the new 
moon with great joy. They make long speeches to her, 
are of man. accom p an j e( j w jth vehement gesticulations, imploring her 
protection and begging that she will be so good as to 
invigorate their bodies. 1 On the day when the new moon 
first appeared, it was a custom with the Indians of San Juan 
Capistrano, in California, to call together all the young men 
for the purpose of its celebration. "Correr la luna /" shouted 
one of the old men, u Come, my boys, the moon ! the moon 1 
Immediately the young men began to run about in a 
disorderly fashion as if they were distracted, while the old 
men danced in a circle, saying, " As the moon dieth, and 
cometh to life again, so we also having to die will again 
live.** 2 An old traveller tells us that at the appearance of 
every new moon the negroes of the Congo clapped their 
hands and cried out, sometimes falling on their knees, " So 
may I renew my life as thou art renewed." But if the sky 
happened to be clouded, they did nothing, alleging that the 
planet had lost its virtue. 8 A somewhat similar custom 
prevails among the Ovambo of South-Western Africa. On 
the first moonlight night of the new moon, young and old, 
their bodies smeared with white earth, perhaps in imitation 
of the planet's silvery light, dance to the moon and address 
to it wishes which they feel sure will be granted. 4 We may 
conjecture that among these wishes is a prayer for a renewal 
of life. When a Masai sees the new moon he throws a 
twig or stone at it with his left hand, and says, " Give me 

* W.SmytheaBd F.Lowe, Narrative * Merolla, "Voyage to Congo,*' in 
if & Journey from Lima to Para J. Pinkerton's Voyages and Travels^ 
(London, 1836), p. 230. xri, 273. 

* Father G, Boscana, "Chinig- 

chinich," in Life in Calif orwa, by on * H. Schinz, Deutsch - Sildvoest* 
America* [A. Robinson] (New York, Afrika (Oldenburg and Leipsic, N.D.), 
1846), pp. 29$ sf. p. 319. 


long life," or * Give me strength " ; and when a pregnant 
woman sees the new moon she milks some milk into a 
small gourd, which she covers with green grass. Then she 
pours the milk away in the direction of the moon and says, 
" Moon, give me my child safely/ 1 1 Among the Wagogo 
of German East Africa, at sight of the new moon some 
people break a stick in pieces, spit on the pieces, and throw 
them towards the moon, saying, " Let all illness go to the 
west, where the sun sets." 2 Among the Boloki of the 
Upper Congo there is much shouting and gesticulation on 
the appearance of a new moon. Those who have enjoyed 
good health pray that it may be continued, and those who 
have been sick ascribe their illness to the coming of - the 
luminary and beg her to take away bad health and give 
them good health instead. 8 The Esthonians think that all 
the misfortunes which might befall a man in the course of a 
month may be forestalled and shifted to the moon, if a man 
will only say to the new moon, " Good morrow, new moon* 
I must grow young, you must grow old. My eyes must 
grow bright, yours must grow dark. I must grow light as 
a bird, you must grow heavy as iron." 4 On the fifteenth 
day of the moon, that is, at the time when the luminary has 
begun to wane, the Coreans take round pieces of paper, either 
red or white, which represent the moon, and having fixed 
them perpendicularly on split sticks they place them on the 
tops of the houses. Then persons who have been forewarned 
by fortune-tellers of impending evil pray to the moon to 
remove it from them. 5 

1 A. C. Hollis, The Masai (Oxford, 
1905), p. 274. 

2 H. Cole, " Notes on the Wagogo 
of German East Africa, "Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, xxxii. (1902) 

P- 330. 

3 John H. Weeks, Among Congo 

Cannibals (London, 1913), p. 142. 

* J. G. Kohl, Die deutsch-russischen 
Ostseeprovinsen (Dresden and Leipsic, 
1841), ii, 279. Compare Boecler- 
Kreutzwald, Der Eksttn abergl&ubische 
Gebrduchty Wtisen und Gewohnheiten 
(St. Petersburg, 1854), pp. 142 sg. ; 
J. Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie,* ii 
S95> note 1 . The power of regenera- 

tion ascribed to the moon in these 
customs is sometimes attributed to the 
sun. Thus it is said that the Chiri- 
guanos Indians of South - Eastern 
Bolivia often address the sun as follows : 
"Thou art born and disappeared 
every day, only to revive always young. 
Cause that it may be so with me.* 
See A. Thouar, Explorations dans 
VAmtrique du Sud (Paris, 1891), 
p. 50. 

* W. Woodvffle Rockhill, "Note* 
on some of the Laws, Customs, and 
Superstitions of Korea,** The American 
Anthropologist, IT. (Washington, 1891), 
p. 185. 



to eat or 
drink the 



influence of 
on children: 
tion of 
infants to 
the new 

In India people attempt to absorb the vital influence 
of the moon by drinking water in which the luminary is 
reflected. Thus the Mohammedans of Oude fill a silver 
basin with water and hold it so that the orb of the full moon 
is mirrored in it The person to be benefited must look 
steadfastly at the moon in the basin, then shut his eyes 
and drink the water at one gulp. Doctors recommend the 
draught as a remedy for nervous disorders and palpitation 
of the heart Somewhat similar customs prevail among the 
Hindoos of Northern India. At the full moon of the month 
of Kuar (September-October) people lay out food on the 
house-tops, and when it has absorbed the rays of the moon 
they distribute it among their relations, who are supposed to 
lengthen their life by eating of the food which has thus been 
saturated with moonshine. Patients are often made to look 
at the moon reflected in melted butter, oil, or milk as a cure 
for leprosy and the like diseases. 1 

Naturally enough the genial influence of moonshine is 
often supposed to be particularly beneficial to children ; for 
will not the waxing moon help them to wax in strength and 
stature? Hence in the island of Kiriwina, one of the 
Trobriands Group to the east of New Guinea, a mother 
always lifts up or presents her child to the first full moon 
after its birth in order that it may grow fast and talk soon. 2 
So among the Baganda of Central Africa it was customary 
for each mother to take her child out at the first new 
moon after its birth, and to point out the moon to the 
infant; this was thought to make the child grow healthy 
and strong. 8 Among the Thonga of South Africa the 
presentation of the baby to the moon does not take place 
until the mother has resumed her monthly periods, which 
usually happens in the third month after the birth. When 
the new moon appears, the mother takes a torch or a 
burning brand from the fire and goes to the ash-heap behind 
the hut She is followed by the grandmother carrying the 
child. At the ash- heap the mother throws the burning 
stick towards the moon, while the grandmother tosses the 

1 W. Gnooke, Popular Religion, and and Polynesians (London, lOio), p. 

F*l*-br* ef MrtJurn India {West- 37. 

minster, 1896), L 14 sq. * R C v, J. Roscoe, The B+ganda 

* George Brown, D.D., Mtlantsians (London, 1911), p. 58. 


baby into the air, saying, " This is your moon ! ** The 
child squalls and rolls over on the ash -heap. Then the 
mother snatches up the infant and nurses it ; so they go 

home. 1 

The Guarayos Indians, who inhabit the gloomy tropical infants 
forests of Eastern Bolivia, lift up their children in the fo*^ ted 
air at new moon in order that they may grow. 2 Among moon by 
the Apinagos Indians, on the Tocantins River in Brazil, the \*^ "**" 
French traveller Castelnau witnessed a remarkable dance by Indians of 


moonlight. The Indians danced in two long ranks which and the 
faced each other, the women on one side, the men on the 

Indians 01 

other. Between the two ranks of dancers blazed a great Brazil. 
fire. The men were painted in brilliant colours, and for the 
most part wore white or red skull-caps made of maize-flour 
and resin. Their dancing was very monotonous and con- 
sisted of a jerky movement of the body, while the dancer 
advanced first one leg and then the other. This dance they 
accompanied with a melancholy song, striking the ground 
with their weapons. Opposite them the women, naked and 
unpainted, stood in a single rank, their bodies bent slightly 
forward, their knees pressed together, their arms swinging in 
measured time, now forward, now backward, so as to join 
hands. A remarkable figure in the dance was a personage 
painted scarlet all over, who held in his hand a rattle com- 
posed of a gourd full of pebbles. From time to time he 
leaped across the great fire which burned between the men 
and the women. Then he would run rapidly in front of the 
women, stopping now and then before one or other and 
performing a series of strange gambols, while he shook his 
rattle violently. Sometimes he would sink with one knee 
to the ground, and then suddenly throw himself backward. 
Altogether the agility and endurance which he displayed 
were remarkable. This dance lasted for hours. When a 
woman was tired out she withdrew, and her place was taken 
by another ; but the same men danced the monotonous 
dance all night. Towards midnight the moon attained the 
zenith and flooded the scene with her bright rays. A change 

1 Henri A. Junod, The Life of a * A.dOrbigny, Voyage dans? Amfri- 
Sotith African 7r#* (Neuchatel, 1912- que Meridional iii. ? w Partie (Paris 
51- and Strasburg, 1844), p. 24. 


now took place in the dance. A long line of men and 
women advanced to the fire between the ranks of the 
dancers. Each of them held one end of a hammock in 
which lay a new-born infant, whose squalls could be heard. 
These babes were now to be presented by their parents to 
the moon. On reaching the end of the line each couple 
swung the hammock, accompanying the movement by a 
chant, which all the Indians sang in chorus. The song 
seemed to consist of three words, repeated over and over 
again. Soon a shrill voice was heard, and a hideous old 
hag, like a skeleton, appeared with her arms raised above 
her head. She went round and round the assembly several 
times, then disappeared in silence. While she was present, 
the scarlet dancer with the rattle bounded about more 
furiously than ever, stopping only for a moment while he 
passed in front of the line of women. His body was con- 
tracted and bent towards them, and described an undulatory 
movement like that of a worm writhing. He shook his 
rattle violently, as if he would fain kindle in the women the 
fire which burned in himself. Then rising abruptly he would 
resume his wild career. During this time the loud voice 
of an orator was heard from the village repeating a curious 
name without cessation. Then the speaker approached 
slowly, carrying on his back some gorgeous bunches of 
brilliant feathers and under his arm a stone axe. Behind 
him walked a young woman bearing an infant in a loose 
girdle at her waist ; the child was wrapped in a mat, which 
protected it against the chill night air. The couple paced 
slowly for a intnute or two, and then vanished without 
speaking a word. At the same moment the curious name 
which the orator had shouted was taken up by the whole 
assembly and repeated by them again and again. This 
scene in its turn lasted a long time, but ceased suddenly 
with the setting of the moon. The French traveller who 
witnessed it fell asleep, and when he awoke all was calm 
once more : there was nothing to recall the infernal dances of 
the night 1 

In explanation of these dances Castelnau merely observes 

1 F. de Casteinwi, Expedition dans Us parties centrales de VAmfriqw du 
Sad (Pans, 1850-1351), & 3^34. 


that the Apinagos, like many other South American Indians, The 
pay a superstitious respect to the moon. We may suppose f e n se n f ta " 
that the ceremonious presentation of the infants to the moon infants to 
was intended to ensure their life and growth. The names ^w u 
solemnly chanted by the whole assembly were probably intended to 

those which the parents publicly bestowed on their children. tbcni 

As to the scarlet dancer who leaped across the fire, we may 
conjecture that he personated the moon, and that his strange 
antics in front of the women were designed to impart to 
them the fertilizing virtue of the luminary, and perhaps to 
facilitate their delivery. 

Among the Baganda of Central Africa there is general Baganda 
rejoicing when the new moon appears, and no work is done 
for seven days. When the crescent is first visible at moon, 
evening, mothers take out their babies and hold them at 
arms 1 length, saying, w I want my child to keep in health 
till the moon wanes/' At the same time a ceremony is 
performed which may be intended to ensure the king's life 
and health throughout the ensuing month. It is a custom 
with the Baganda to preserve the king's navel-string with 
great care during his life. The precious object is called 
the " Twin M of the king, as if it were his double ; and the 
ghost of the royal afterbirth is believed to be attached to 
it Enclosed in a pot, which is wrapt in bark cloths, the 
navel-string is kept in a temple specially built for it near 
the king's enclosure, and a great minister of state acts as its 
guardian and priest. Every new moon, at evening, he 
carries it in state, wrapped in bark cloths, to the king, who 
takes it into his hands, examines it, and returns it to the 
minister. The keeper of the navel-string then goes back 
with it to the house and sets it in the doorway, where it 
remains all night Next morning it is taken from its 
wrappings and again placed in the doorway until the 
evening, when it is once more swathed in bark cloths and 
restored to its. usual place. 1 Apparently the navel-string is 
conceived as a vital portion, a sort of external soul, of the 

1 J. Roscoe, " Further Notes on the In the former passage the part of the 

Manners and Customs of the Baganda.'* king's person which is treated -with 

Journal of tht Anthropological Institute^ this ceremony is said to be the placenta, 

xrxii. (1902) pp. 63, 76; id, y The not the navel-string. 
Baganda (London, 1911) pp. 235 sq. 



to be 

by the 
moon on 

Use of the 
moon to 

money or 

king ; and the attentions bestowed on it at the new moon 
may be supposed to refresh and invigorate it, thereby 
refreshing and invigorating the king's life. 

The Armenians appear to think that the moon exercises 
a baleful influence on little children. To avert that influ- 
ence a mother will show the moon to her child and say, 
"Thine uncle, thine uncle/' For the same purpose the 
father and mother will mount to the roof of the house at 
new moon on a Wednesday or Friday. The father then 
puts the child on a shovel and gives it to the mother, saying, 
" If it is thine, take it to thee. But if it is mine, rear it and 
give it to me back." The mother then takes the child and 
the shovel, and returns them to the father in like manner. 1 
A similar opinion as to the noxious influence of moonshine 
on children was apparently held by the ancient Greeks ; for 
Greek nurses took great care never to show their infants to 
the moon. 2 Some Brazilian Indians in like manner guard 
babies against the moon, believing that it would make them 
ill. Immediately after delivery mothers will hide themselves 
and their infants in the thickest parts of the forest in order 
that the moonlight may not fall on them. 3 It would be 
easy to understand why the waning moon should be deemed 
injurious to children ; they might be supposed to peak and 
pine with its dwindling light Thus in Angus it is thought 
that if a child be weaned during the waning of the moon, 
it will decay all the time that the moon continues to 
wane. 4 But it is less easy to see why the same deleterious 
influence on children should be ascribed to moonlight in 

There are many other ways in which people have sought 
to turn lunar sympathy to practical account Clearly the 
increase of the moon is the time to increase your goods, 
and the decrease of the moon is the time to diminish your 
ilk. Acting on this imaginary law of nature many persons 
in Europe show their money to the new moon or turn it in 

* M. Abeghian, Der armcnischt 
Volksgiaube (Lcipsic, 1899), P- 49* 

1 Plutarch, Qvaestiones Conviviala, 
if?. lo. 3, 7. 

3 J. B. von Spix und C. F. Ph. von 
Martins, Rtise in Brasilien (Munich, 

1823-1831), i 381, iii. 1 1 86. 

* J. Jamieson, Dictionary of 
Scottish Language^ New Edition edited 
by J. Longznuir and D. Donaldson 
(Paisley, 1879-1882), iii. 300 (j.. 
" Mouc "). 



their pockets at that season, in the belief that the money 
will grow with the growth of the planet ; sometimes, by way 
of additional precaution, they spit on the coin at the same 
time. 1 " Both Christians and Moslems in Syria turn their 
silver money in their pockets at the new moon for luck ; 
and two persons meeting under the new moon will each 
take out a silver coin and embrace, saying, ' May you begin 
and end ; and may it be a good month to us/ '* 2 Con- 
versely the waning of the moon is the most natural time to 
get rid of bodily ailments. In Brittany they think that 
warts vary with the phases of the moon, growing as it waxes 
and vanishing awa) T as it wanes. 3 Accordingly, they say in 
Germany that if you would rid yourself of warts you should 
treat them when the moon is on the decrease. 4 And a 
German cure for toothache, earache, headache, and so forth, 
is to look towards the waning moon and say, " As the moon 
decreases, so may my pains decrease also." 5 However, 
some Germans reverse the rule. They say, for example, 
that if you are afflicted with a wen, you should face the 
waxing moon, lay your finger on the wen, and say thrice, 
" What I see waxes ; what I touch, let it vanish away/' 
After each of these two sentences you should cross yourself 
thrice. Then go home without speaking to any one, and 
repeat three paternosters behind the kitchen door. 6 The 
Huzuls of the Carpathians recommend a somewhat similar, 
and no doubt equally efficacious, cure for waterbrash. They 
say that at new moon the patient should run thrice round 
the house and then say to the moon, " Moon, moon, where 
wast thou ? " * Behind the mountain/' " What hast thou 
eaten there?" "Horse flesh/' "Why hast thou brought 
me nothing ? n " Because I forgot" " May the waterbrash 

1 F. Panzer, Beitrag zur deutschen 
Mythohgie (Munich, 1848-1855), ii. 
260 ; P. Drechsler, Sifts, Branch und 
Volksglauoe in Schlesien, ii. (Leipsic, 
1906) p. 131 ; W. Henderson, Folk- 
lore of the Northern Counties of Eng- 
land (London, 1879), p. 114; C. S. 
Burne and G. F. Jackson> Shropshire 
Folk-lore (London, 1883), p. 257 ; W. 
Gregor, Folk-lore of the North-East of 
Strtland (London, 1881), p. 151. 

2 C. R Conder, Heth and Moab 

(London, 1883), p. 286. 

3 P. S^billot, Traditions et Super- 
stitions de la Haute- Bretagne (Paris, 
1882), ii. 355. 

* A. Kuhn, Markiscfu Sagen und 
Mdrcken (Berlin, 1843), p. 387, 93. 

6 Die gestriegelte Rockenphilosophie 
(Chemnitz, 1759), p. 447. 

* F. Panzer, Beitr&g sur deutschen 
Mythologie, ' ii 302. Compare J. 
Grimm, Deutxht Mythologie^ ii 



forget to burn me ! " l Thus a curative virtue appears to 
be attributed by some people to the waning and by others 
to the waxing moon. There is perhaps just as much, or as 
little, to be said for the one attribution as for the other. 

1 R, F* Kaindl, '*2auberglaube bei den Huzulcn," Ghbus, IxxvL (1899) 
p. 256. 



IN the foregoing discussion we found reason to believe that Osiris 
the Semitic Adonis and the Phrygian Attis were at one 
time personated in the flesh by kings, princes, or priests who king of 
played the part of the god for a time and then either died ^^ 
a violent death in the divine character or had to redeem 
their life in one way or another, whether by performing a 
make-believe sacrifice at some expense of pain and danger 
to themselves, or by delegating the duty to a substitute. 1 
Further, we conjectured that in Egypt the part of Osiris 
may have been played by the king himself. 2 It remains to 
adduce some positive evidence of this personation. 

A great festival called the Sed was celebrated by the TheScd 

*^ f i* i 

Egyptians with much solemnity at intervals of thirty years. ^ebrated 
Various portions of the ritual are represented on the ancient in Egypt 
monuments of Hieraconpolis and Abydos and in the oldest of thirty 
decorated temple of Egypt known to us, that- of Usirniri at 
Busiris, which dates from the fifth dynasty. It appears that 
the ceremonies were as old as the Egyptian civilization, and 
that they continued to be observed till the end of the Roman 
period. 8 The reason for holding them at intervals of thirty 

1 See above, vol. i. pp. 1 6 sq.> 48 
no, 114, 170^., 172 sgq.> 176 
X 79 W- 285 W- 288 sgq. 

* See above, pp. 97 sq. t 101 sq. 

8 A. Moret, Du caractere religieux 
de la royauti Pkaraoniqut (Paris, 
1902), pp. 235-238. The festival is 
discussed at length by M. Moret {op. cit. 
pp. 235-273). See further R. Lepsius, 
Die Chronologic der Acgypter t L 161- 
165 j Miss M. A. Murray, The Osireion 

at Abydos, pp. 32-34 ; W. M. Flinders 
Petrie, Researches in Sinai (London, 
1906), pp, 176-185. In interpreting 
the festival I follow Professor Flinders 
Petrie. That the festival occurred, theo- 
retically at least, at intervals of thirty 
years, appears to be unquestionable ; 
for in the Greek text of the Rosetta 
Stone Ptolemy V. is called "lord of 
periods of thirty years," and though the 
corresponding part of the hieroglyphic 



years is uncertain, but we can hardly doubt that the period 
was determined by astronomical considerations. According 
to one view, it was based on the observation of Saturn's 
period of revolution round the sun, which is, roughly speaking, 
thirty years, or, more exactly, twenty-nine years and one 
hundred and seventy -four days. 1 According to another 
view, the thirty years' period had reference to Sirius, the 
star of I sis. We have seen that on account of the vague 
character of the old Egyptian year the heliacal rising of 
Sirius shifted its place gradually through every month of 
the calendar. 2 In one hundred and twenty years the star 
thus passed through one whole month of thirty days. To 
speak more precisely, it rose on the first of the month during 
the first four years of the period : it rose on the second of 
the month in the second four years, on the third of the 
month in the third four years ; and so on succes- 
sively, till in the last four years of the hundred and 
twenty years it rose on the last day of the month. As the 
Egyptians watched the annual summer rising of the star with 
attention and associated it with the most popular of their 
goddesses, it would be natural that its passage from one 
month to another, at intervals of one hundred and twenty 
years, should be the occasion of a great festival, and that 
the long period of one hundred and twenty years should be 
divided into four minor periods of thirty years respectively, 
each celebrated by a minor festival. 3 If this theory of the 
Sed festivals is correct, we should expect to find that every 
fourth celebration was distinguished from the rest by a 
higher degree of solemnity, since it marked the completion 
of a twelfth part of the star's journey through the twelve 

text is lost, the demotic version of the 
words is *' master of the years of the 
Sed festival.** See R. Lepsaus* <#. 
dL pp. z6i sf . ; W. Dittenberger, 
Oritntis Gratci Inscriptions SeUctac t 
No. 90, line 2 (vol. 1. p. 142); A. 
Motet, op. tit. 260. However, the 
kings appear to have sometimes cele- 
brated the festival at much shorter 
Intervals, so that the dates of its re* 
carrence cannot safely be used for 
chronological purposes. See Ed 
Meyer, Nacktrogt sur agyptiscken 

Chranologie (Berlin, 1908), pp. 43 sq. 
(Abhandlungtn der kimigl. AkademU 
der Wissenschaften vom Jahre Jpof) ; 
&, Gcschichte des Altertums* i. a. 
pp. acix. 130. 

1 This was Letronne's theory (R* 
Lepsius, op. cit. p. 163). 

* See above, pp. 24 sgy. t 34 sqq. 

9 This was in substance the theory 
of Biot (R. Lepsius, /..) an< ^ ft & tn * 
view of Professor W. M. Flinders Petra 
(Researches in Sinai* pp. 176 


months. Now it appears that in point of fact every fourth 
Sed festival was marked off from its fellows by the adjective 
tepw " chief," and that these "chief" celebrations fell as a 
rule in the years when Sirius rose on the first of the month. 1 
These facts confirm the view that the Sed festival was closely 
connected with the star Sirius, and through it with Isis. 

However, we are here concerned rather with the meaning intention 
and the rites of the festival than with the reasons for holding f^^i 8 ^ 
it once every thirty years. The intention of the festival renew the 
seems to have been to procure for the king a new lease of m * s 
life, a renovation of his divine energies, a rejuvenescence. 
In the inscriptions of Abydos we read, after an account of 
the rites, the following address to the king : " Thou dost 
recommence thy renewal, thou art granted to flourish again 
like the infant god Moon, thou dost grow young again, and 
that from season to season, like Nun at the beginning of 
time, thou art born again in renewing the Sed festivals. 
All life comes to thy nostril, and thou art king of the whole 
earth for ever." 2 In short, on these occasions it appears to 
have been supposed that the king was in a manner born 

But how was the new birth effected ? Apparently the The long 

"*! **&Il 

essence of the rites consisted in identifying the king with ^ ^ 
Osiris ; for just as Osiris had died and risen again from the dead Osiris 
dead, so the king might be thought to die and to live again 
with the god whom he personated. The ceremony would 
thus be for the king a death as well as a rebirth. Accord- 
ingly in pictures of the Sed festival on the monuments we 
see the king posing as the dead Osiris. He sits in a shrine 
like a god, holding in his hands the crook and flail of 
Osiris : he is wrapped in tight bandages like the mummified 
Osiris ; indeed, there is nothing but his name to prove that 
he is not Osiris himself. This enthronement of the king in 
the attitude of the dead god seems to have been the principal 
event of the festival. 8 Further, the queen and the king's 
daughters figured prominently in the ceremonies.* A 

1 W. M. Flinders Petrie, Xtsearekes in S*na*\ p. iSx. 

in Sinai, p. 180. 4 A. Moret, op* at. p. 240 ; Mis* 

* A. Moret, Du carac&re rdigieux M. A- Murray, Tht Osireien at Afyd 9 
d* fa rvya** Pkaraanique^ pp. 255 sy. pp. 33 jy., with the slip inserted at p. 

* W. M. Flinders Petrie, Jttsearc&ts 33 ; W. Flinders Petrie, #. rit. p. 184. 


discharge of arrows formed part of the rites ; 1 and in some 
sculptures at Carnac the queen is portrayed shooting arrows 
towards the four quarters of the world, while the king 
does the same with rings. 2 The oldest illustration of the 
festival is on the mace of Narrner, which is believed to date 
from 5500 B.C. Here we see the king seated as Osiris in a 
shrine at the top of nine steps. Beside the shrine stand fan- 
bearers, and in front of it is a figure in a palanquin, which, 
according to an inscription in another representation of the 
scene, appears to be the royal child. An enclosure of 
curtains hung on poles surrounds the dancing-ground, where 
three men are performing a sacred dance. A procession of 
standards is depicted beside the enclosure ; it is headed by 
the standard of the jackal-god Up-uat, the " opener of ways * 
for the dead. 8 Similarly on a seal of King Zer, or rather 
Khent, one of the early kings of the first dynasty, the 
monarch appears as Osiris with the standard of the jackal- 
god before him. In front of him, too, is the ostrich feather 
on which " the dead king was supposed to ascend into heaven. 
Here, then, the king, identified with Osiris, king of the dead, 
has before him the jackal-god, who leads the dead, and the 
ostrich feather, which symbolizes his reception into the sky." * 
There are even grounds for thinking that in order to complete 
the mimic death of the king at the Sed festival an effigy of 
him, clad in the costume of Osiris, was solemnly buried in a 
cenotaph. 6 

Professor According to Professor Flinders Petrie, " the conclusion 
^^ s may be drawn thus. In the savage age of prehistoric 
explanation times, the Egyptians, like many other African and Indian 
* peoples, killed their priest-king at stated intervals, in order 
that the ruler should, with unimpaired life and health, be 
enabled to maintain the kingdom in its highest condition. 
The royal daughters were present in order that they might 
be married to his successor. The jackal-god went before 

1 A. Moret, &p* c&. p. 242. see above, p. 20, note 1 . 

* Miss M. A. Murray, op. fc, slip 6 J. Capart. " Bulletin critique del 
inserted at p. 33. religions de 1'Egypte," Revue de ?His* 

W. M. Flinders Petrie, Researches toire des Religions, liiL (1906) pp. 

m Sttuu, p. 183. 332-334- I have to thank Professor 

* W. M. Flinders Petrie, U As to W. M. Flinders Petrie for calling my 
the king's name (Khent instead of Zer) attention to this passage. 


him, to open the way to the unseen world ; and the ostrich ^ 
feather received and bore away the king's soul in the breeze 
that blew it out of sight. This was the celebration of the 
< end, 1 the sed feast. The king thus became the dead king, 
patron of all those who had died in his reign, who were his 
subjects here and hereafter. He was thus one with Osiris, 
the king of the dead. This fierce custom became changed, 
as in other lands, by appointing a deputy king to die in his 
stead ; which idea survived in the Coptic Abu Nerus, with 
his tall crown of Upper Egypt, false beard, and sceptre. 
After the death of the deputy, the real king renewed his 
life and reign. Henceforward this became the greatest of 
the royal festivals, the apotheosis of the king during his life, 
after which he became Osiris upon earth and the patron of 
the dead in the underworld." l 

A similar theory of the Sed festival is maintained by Alexandra 
another eminent Egyptologist, M. Aiexandre Moret. He ^^' 
says : " In most of the temples of Egypt, of all periods, at the Sed 
pictures set forth for us the principal scenes of a solemn t^ing 
festival called * festival of the tail/ the Sed festival. It con- ^^ sup. 

nosed to 

sisted essentially in a representation of the ritual death of the die and to 
king followed by his rebirth. In this case the king is identi- ** ^ 
fied with Osiris, the god who in historical times is the hero 
of the sacred drama of humanity, he who guides us through 
the three stages of life, death, and rebirth in the other world. 
Hence, clad in the funeral costume of Osiris, with the tight- 
fitting garment clinging to him like a shroud, Pharaoh is con- 
ducted to the tomb ; and from it he returns rejuvenated and 
reborn like Osiris emerging from the dead. How was this 
fiction carried out ? how was this miracle performed ? By 
the sacrifice of human or animal victims. On behalf of the 
king a priest lay down in the skin of the animal victim : he 
assumed the posture characteristic of an embryo in its 
mothers womb : when he came forth from the skin he was 
deemed to be reborn ; and Pharaoh, for whom this rite was 
celebrated, was himself reborn, or to adopt the Egyptian ex- 

1 W. M. Flinders Petrie, Researches 180 s$. ; The Dying God, pp. 151 sg. 

m Sinai, p. 185. As to the Coptic For examples of human sacrifices 

mock-king see C. B. Klunzinger, Bildir offered to prolong the lives of kings 

am Obcragypten^ der WiisU und dem see below, vol. M. pp. 219 sqq. 
Relhen Meere (Stuttgart, 1877), pp. 




pression, * he renewed his births/ And in testimony of the 
due performance of the rites the king girt his loins with the 
tail, a compendious representative of the skin of the sacrificed 
beast, whence the name of c the festival of the tail.' 

" How are we to explain the rule that at a certain point 
of his reign every Pharaoh must undergo this ritual death 
followed by fictitious rebirth ? Is it simply a renewal of the 
initiation into the Osirian mysteries? or does the festival 
present some more special features? The ill-defined part 
played by the royal children in these rites seems to me to 
indicate that the Sed festival represents other episodes which 
refer to the transmission of the regal office. At the dawn 
of civilization in Egypt the people were perhaps familiar 
with the alternative either of putting their king to death in 
his full vigour in order that his power should be trans- 
mitted intact to his successor, or of attempting to rejuvenate 
him and to 'renew his life. 1 The latter measure was an 
invention of the Pharaohs. How could it be carried out 
more effectively than by identifying themselves with Osiris, 
by applying to themselves the process of resurrection, the 
funeral rites by which Isis, according to the priests, had 
magically saved her husband from death ? Perhaps the 
fictitious death of the king may be regarded as a mitigation 
of the primitive murder of the divine king, a transition from 
a barbarous reality to symbolism." 1 

1 A. Moret, Mysftres fcgyptiens 
(Paris, 1913), pp. 187-190. For a 
detailed account of the Egyptian evi- 
dence, monumental and inscriptional, 
on which M. Moret bases his view of 
the king's rebirth by deputy from the 
hide of a sacrificed animal, see pp. 16 
sqq^ 72 sqq. of the same work. Com- 
pare his article, "Du sacrifice en 
igypte/* Ream de FHistoirc dcs Reli- 
gitms, ITU. {1908} pp. 93 sqq. In sup- 
port of the view that the king of Egypt 
was deemed to be born again at the Sed 
festival it has been pointed out that on 
these solemn occasions, as we learn 
from the monuments, there was canted 
before the king on a pole an object 
shaped like a placenta, a part of the 
human body which many savage or 
barbarous peoples regard as the twin 

brother or sister of the new.born child. 
See C. G. Seligmann and Margaret A. 
Murray, "Note upon an early 
Egyptian standard," Man, ai (1911) 
pp. 165-171. The object which these 
writers take to represent a human 
placenta is interpreted by M. AJexandre 
Moret as the likeness of a human 
embryo. As to the belief that the 
afterbirth is a twin brother or sister 
of the infant, see above, vol. i. p. 93t 
and below, pp. 169^.5 The Magic 
Art and the Evolutiex of Kings, i. 
82 sqq. 

Professor J. H. Breasted thinks that 
the Sed festival is probably " the oldest 
religious feast of which any trace has 
been preserved in Egypt" ; he admits 
that on these occasions "the king 
assumed the costume and insignia of 


Whether this interpretation of the Sed festival be 
accepted in all its details or not, one thing seems quite 
certain : on these solemn occasions the god Osiris was per- j- of 
sonated by the king of Egypt himself. That is the point 
with which we are here chiefly concerned _ __ 

Osiris, and undoubtedly impersonated festival is as yet obscure. See J. H. 

him." and further that "one of the Breasted, Development of Religion and 

ceremonies of this feast symbolized Thought in AncUnt Egypt (London, 

the resurrection of Osiris"; but he 1912), p. 39. 
considers that the significance of the 



How did THUS far we have discussed the character of Osiris as he Is 
theconcep- presented to us in the art and literature of Egypt and in the 

tlOn Of r --,,. 11 r i 

Osiris as a testimonies of Greek writers ; and we have found that judged 
god of k these indications he was in the main a god of vegetation 

vegetation J i 

and of the and of the dead. But we have still to ask, how did the con- 

originate? caption of such a composite deity originate? Did it arise 

simply through observation of the great annual fluctuations 

of the seasons and a desire to explain them ? Was it a 

result of brooding over the mystery of external nature? 

Was it the attempt of a rude philosophy to lift the veil and 

explore the hidden springs that set the vast machine in 

motion ? That man at a very early stage of his long history 

meditated on these things and evolved certain crude theories 

which partially satisfied his craving after knowledge is 

certain ; from such meditations of Babylonian and Phrygian 

sages appear to have sprung the pathetic figures of Adonis 

and Attis ; and from such meditations of Egyptian sages 

may have sprung the tragic figure of Osiris. 

While Yet a broad distinction seems to sever the myth and 

worship of Osiris from the kindred myths and worships of 
Adonis and Attis. For while Adonis and Attis were minor 
divinities in the religion of Western Asia, completely over- 
respective shadowed by the greater deities of their respective pantheons, 
was* the solemn figure of Osiris towered in solitary grandeur over 

a jj the welter of Egyptian gods, like a pyramid of his native 
popular land lit up by the last rays of the setting sun when all 
below it is in shadow. And whereas legend generally repre- 
sented Adonis and Attis as simple swains, mere herdsmen 


or hunters whom the fatal love of a goddess had elevated 
above their homely sphere into a brief and melancholy pre- 
eminence, Osiris uniformly appears in tradition as a great 
and beneficent king. In life he ruled over his people, 
beloved and revered for the benefits he conferred on them 
and on the world ; in death he reigned in their hearts and 
memories as lord of the dead, the awful judge at whose bar 
every man must one day stand to give an account of the 
deeds done in the body and to receive the final award. In 
the faith of the Egyptians the cruel death and blessed 
resurrection of Osiris occupied the same place as the death 
and resurrection of Christ hold in the faith of Christians. 
As Osiris died and rose again from the dead, so they hoped 
through him and in his dear name to wake triumphant from 
the sleep of death to a blissful eternity. That was their 
sheet-anchor in life's stormy sea ; that was the hope which 
supported and consoled millions of Egyptian men and 
women for a period of time far longer than that during 
which Christianity has now existed on earth. In the long 
history of religion no two divine figures resemble each 
other more closely in the fervour of personal devotion which 
they have kindled and in the high hopes which they have 
inspired than Osiris and Christ The sad figure of Buddha 
indeed has been as deeply loved and revered by countless 
millions ; but he had no glad tidings of immortality for men, 
nothing but, the promise of a final release from the burden 
of mortality. 

And if Osiris and Christ have been the centres of the The 
like enthusiastic devotion, may not the secret of their in- 


fluence have been similar? If Christ lived the life and died of the 
the death of a man on earth, may not Osiris have done so f 

... . ' J to 

likewise ? The immense and enduring popularity of his suggests 
worship speaks in favour of the supposition ; for all the may b 
other great religious or semi-religious systems which have been a 
won for themselves a permanent place in the affections of SfthL 

mankind, have been founded by individual great men, who 

^ T^rt 1 1 ff| J*V| ii Jfc 

by their personal life and example exerted a power of or semi- 
attraction such as no cold abstractions, no pale products of reli s lls 

*.t 11 - t * 11 . systems oC 

the collective wisdom or folly could ever exert on the minds the 
and hearts of humanity. Thus it was with Buddhism* with 



Confucianism, with Christianity, and with Mohammedanism ; 
an j t ^ us j t ma y we jj ^ ave j )een ^fa ^ religion of Osiris. 

Certainly we shall do less violence to the evidence if we 
accept the unanimous tradition of ancient Egypt on this 
point than if we resolve the figure of Osiris into a myth pure 
and simple. And when we consider that from the earliest 
to the latest times Egyptian kings were worshipped as gods 
both in life and in death, there appears to be nothing ex- 
travagant or improbable in the view that one of them by his 
personal qualities excited a larger measure of devotion than 
usual during his life and was remembered with fonder affec- 
tion and deeper reverence after his death ; till in time his 
beloved memory, dimmed, transfigured, and encircled with a 
halo of glory by the mists of time, grew into the dominant 
religion of his people* At least this theory is reasonable 
enough to deserve a serious consideration. If we accept it, 
we may suppose that the mythical elements, which legend 
undoubtedly ascribed to Osiris, were later accretions which 
gathered about his memory like ivy about a ruin. There is 
no improbability in such a supposition ; on the contrary, all 
analogy is in its favour, for nothing is more certain than 
that myths grow like weeds round the great historical figures 
of the past 

The In recent years the historical reality of Osiris as a king 

^^ who once lived and reigned in Egypt has been maintained 
Osiris as an by more than one learned scholar; 1 and without venturing 
E^j^f to pronounce a decided opinion on so obscure and difficult a 
be sop- question, I think it worth while, following the example of 
^ r - Wallis Budge, to indicate certain modern African analo- 
gies which tend to confirm the view that beneath the 
mythical wrappings of Osiris there lay the mummy of a 
dead man. At all events the analogies which I shall cite 
suffice to prove that the custom of worshipping dead kings 
has not been confined to Egypt, but has been apparently 
widespread throughout Africa, though the evidence now at 
our disposal only enables us to detect the observance of the 

1 It is maintained by the discoverer elaborate treatise Osiris and the Egyp- 

of the tomb of Osiris at Abydos, tian Resurrection^ in which the author 

Monsieur E. Amelioeau, in his work pays much attention to analogies drawn 

Z* Tomba* <t Osiris (Paris, 1899) and from the religion and customs of modern 

by br. E. A. Wallis Budge in his African tribes. 




custom at a few points of the great continent But even if 
the resemblance in this respect between ancient Egypt and 
modern Africa should be regarded as established, it would 
not justify us in inferring an ethnical affinity between the 
fair or ruddy Egyptians and the black aboriginal races, 
who occupy almost the whole of Africa except a com- 
paratively narrow fringe on the northern sea-board. Scholars 
are still divided on the question of the original home and 
racial relationship of the ancient Egyptians. It has been 
held on the one hand that they belong to an indigen- 
ous white race which has been always in possession of the 
Mediterranean coasts of Africa ; and on the other hand 
it has been supposed that they are akin to the Semites 
5n blood as well as in language, and that they entered 
Africa from the East, whether by gradual infiltration or 
on a sudden wave of conquest like the Arabs in the 
decline of the Roman empire. 1 On either view a great gulf 
divided them from the swarthy natives of the Sudan, with 
whom they were always in contact on their southern border ; 
and though a certain admixture may have taken place 
through marriage between the two races, it seems unsafe to 
assume that the religious and political resemblances which 
can be traced between them are based on any closer rela- 
tionship than the general similarity in structure and functions 
of the human mind. 

In a former part of this work we saw that the Shilluks, The 
a pastoral and partially agricultural people of the White 
Nile, worship the spirits of their dead kings. 2 The graves 
of the deceased monarchs form indeed the national or tribal 

1 G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne 
da Peupks de f Orient Classique, i. 43 
sqq. ; J. H. Breasted, ffistory of the 
Ancient Egyptians^ pp. 29 sg. j Ed. 
Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums* i. 2. 
pp, 41 j^. The affinity of the Egyptian 
language to the Semitic family of 
speech seems now to be admitted even 
by historians who maintain the African 
origin of the Egyptians. 

1 The Dying G&Z, pp, 17 s $f. The 
information there given was kindly sap- 
plied by Dr. C G. Seliguumn, who has 

since published it with fuller details. 
See C. G. Seligmann* The Cult of 
Nyakangand the Divine Kings of ike 
Sfo7/M{ Khartoum, 1911), pp. 216-232 
(reprint from Fourth Report of the 
Wellcome Tropical Research Labora- 
tories y Gordon Memorial College, Khar~ 
toum) ; W. Hofmayr, ** Religion der 
Schilluk," Anthropos, vL (1911) pp^ 
120-131 ; Diedrich Westermann, The 
ShUluk People^ their Language and F&lk- 
ton (Berlin, preface dated 1912), pp. 
ixxix. sqq. In what follows I have 
drawn on all these authorities. 


of the temples; and as each king is interred at the village where 
he was born and where his afterbirth is buried, these grave- 
shrines are scattered over the country. Each of them 
usually comprises a small group of round huts, resembling 
the common houses of the people, the whole being enclosed 
by a fence ; one of the huts is built over the grave, the 
others are occupied by the guardians of the shrine, who at 
first are generally the widows or old men-servants of the 
deceased king. When these women or retainers die, they 
are succeeded in office by their descendants, for the tombs 
are maintained in perpetuity, so that the number of 

Sacrifices temples and of gods is always on the increase. Cattle are 
dedicated to these royal shrines and animals sacrificed at 
them. For example, when the millet crop threatens to fail 
or a murrain breaks out among the beasts, one of the dead 
kings will appear to somebody in a dream and demand a 
sacrifice. The dream is reported to the king, and he 
immediately orders a bullock and a cow to be sent to the 
grave of the dead king who appeared in a vision of the 
night to the sleeper. This is done ; the bullock is killed and 
the cow added to the sacred herd of the shrine. It is 
customary, also, though not necessary, at harvest to offer 
some of the new millet at the temple-tombs of the kings ; 
and sick people send animals to be sacrificed there on their 
behalf. Special regard is paid to trees that grow near 
the graves of the kings ; and the spirits of the departed 
monarchs are believed to appear from time to time in the 
form of certain animals. One of them, for example, always 
takes the shape of a certain insect, which seems to be the 
larva of the Mantidae* When a Shilluk finds one of these 
insects, he will take it up in his hands and deposit it reveren- 
tially at the shrine. Other kings manifest themselves as a 
certain species of white birds ; others assume the form of 
giraffes. When one of these long-legged and long-necked 
creatures comes stalking up fearlessly to a village where 
there is a king's grave, the people know that the king's soul 
is in the animal, and the attendants at the royal tomb testify 
their joy at the appearance of their master by sacrificing a 
sheep or even a bullock. 

But of all the dead kings none is revered so deeply or 


occupies so large a place in the minds of the people as Worship <rf 
Nyakang, the traditional founder of the dynasty and the 
ancestor of all the kings who have reigned after him to the oTthe" 
present day. Of these kings the Shilluks have preserved 
the memory and the genealogy ; twenty-six seem to have 
sat on the throne since Nyakang, but the period of time 
covered by their reigns is much shorter than it would have 
been under conditions such as now prevail in Europe ; for 
down to the time when their country came under British 
rule it was the regular custom of the Shilluks to put their 
kings to death as soon as they showed serious symptoms of 
bodily or mental decay. The custom was based on " the 
conviction that the king must not be allowed to become ill 
or senile, lest with his diminishing vigour the cattle should 
sicken and fail to bear their increase, the crops should rot in 
the fields, and man, stricken with disease, should die in ever- 
increasing numbers." l It is said that Nyakang, like Romulus, 
disappeared in a great storm, which scattered all the people 
about him ; in their absence the king took a cloth, tied it 
tightly round his neck, and strangled himself. According 
to one account, that is the death which all his successors on 
the throne have died ; 2 but while tradition appears to be 
unanimous as to the custom of regicide, it varies as to the 
precise mode in which the kings were relieved of their office 
and of life. But still the people are convinced that Nyakang 
did not really die but only vanished mysteriously away like 
the wind. When a missionary asked the Shilluks as to the 
manner of Nyakang*s death, they were filled with amazement 
at his ignorance and stoutly maintained that he never died, for 
were he to die all the Shilluks would die also. 3 The graves 
of this deified king are shown in various parts of the country. 

From time to time the spirit of Nyakang manifests itself The 
to his people in the form of an animal. Any creature of ^ 
regal port or surpassing beauty may serve as his temporary supposed 
incarnation. Such among wild animals are lions, crocodiles, 
little yellow snakes that crawl about men's houses, the finest 
sorts of antelopes, flamingoes with their rose-pink and scarlet 

* C. G. Seligxnann, The Cuff of People, p. xlii 
Nyakang, p. 221. 

* D. Wcstermann, The Skttbtk * D. Westermann, 



plumage, and butterflies of all sorts with their brilliant and 

varied hues. An unusually fine head of cattle is also 

recognized as the abode of the great king's soul ; for example 

he once appeared in the shape of a white bull, whereupon 

the living king commanded special sacrifices to be offered in 

honour of his deified predecessor. When a bird in which the 

royal spirit is known to be lodged lights on a tree, that tree 

becomes sacred to Nyakang ; beads and cloths are hung on its 

boughs, sacrifices and prayers are offered below it. Once when 

the Turks unknowingly felled such a tree, fear and horror fell 

on the Shilluks who beheld the sacrilege. They filled the air 

with lamentations and killed an ox to appease their insulted 

ancestor. 1 Particular regard is also paid to trees that grow 

near the graves of Nyakang, though they are not regularly 

worshipped. 2 In one place two gigantic baobab trees are 

pointed out as marking the spot where Nyakang once stood, 

and sacrifices are now offered under their spreading shade.* 

The deified There seems to be no doubt that in spite of the mythical 

Nyakang elements which have gathered round his memory, Nyakang 

been was a real man, who led the Shilluks to their present home 
a ai man. Qn ^ e jq- |j e e jth er f rom the west or from the south ; for on 

this point tradition varies. " The first and most important 
ancestor, who is everywhere revered, is Nyakang, the first 
Shilluk king. He always receives the honourable titles of 
Father (#), Ancestor (gua\ King (red) or Kings (ror\ 
Ancestors, and Great Man Above (cat duong mal) to distin- 
guish him from the other great men on earth. Nyakang, as 
we know, was an historical personage ; he led the Shilluks 
to the land which they now occupy; he helped them to 
victory, made them great and warlike, regulated marriage 
and law, distributed the country among them, divided it into 
districts, and in order to increase the dependence of the 
people on him and to show them his power, became their 
greatest benefactor by giving himself out as the bestower 
of rain. 1 * 4 Yet Nyakang is now universally revered by 
the people as a demi-god ; indeed for all practical pur- 

* W. Hofinayr, "Religion do: SchD- W. Hoftnayr, op. eit. p. 125. 
}&L? Antkropos>rL( 1911) pp. 123^.; * W. Hofraayr, op. fit. p. 123. 
C G. Seligmann, op. eit. p. 230 ; D. This writer spells the name of the 
Westennann, op. t&. p. xliii deified king as Nykang. I have adopted 

* C G. Seligmann, op* fit. pp. 229 s$. Dr. Seligmann's spelling. 


poses his worship quite eclipses that of the supreme god Reiatk> 
Juok, the creator, who, having ordered the world, committed J^* 1 
it to the care of ancestral spirits and demons, and now, creator 
dwelling aloft, concerns himself no further with human affairs. Juokl 
Hence men pay little heed to their creator and seldom take 
his name into their lips except in a few conventional forms of 
salutation at meeting and parting like our " Good-bye." Far 
otherwise is it with Nyakang. He " is the ancestor of the 
Shilluk nation and the founder of the Shilluk dynasty. He 
is worshipped, sacrifices and prayers are offered to him ; he 
may be said to be lifted to the rank of a demi-god, though 
they never forget that he has been a real man. He is 
expressly designated as ' little * in comparison with God/ 1 
Yet " in the political, religious and personal life Nyakang 
takes a far more important place than Juok. Nyakang is 
the national hero, of whom each Shilluk feels proud, who is 
praised in innumerable popular songs and sayings ; he is not 
only a superior being, but also a man. He is the sublime 
model for every true Shilluk ; everything they value most in 
their national and private life has its origin in him : their 
kingdom and their fighting as well as cattle-breeding and 
farming. ^ While Nyakang is their good father, who only 
does them good, Juok is the great, uncontrollable power, 
which is to be propitiated, in order to avoid his inflictions of 
evil." l Indeed ** the whole working religion of the Shilluk 
is a cult of Nyakang, the semi-divine ancestor of their kings, 
in each of whom his spirit is immanent" 2 The transmission 
of the divine or semi-divine spirit of Nyakang to the reigning 
monarch appears to take place at the king's installation and 
to be effected by means of a rude wooden effigy of Nyakang, 
in which the spirit of that deified man is perhaps supposed 
to be immanent But however the spiritual transmission 
may be carried out, " the fundamental idea of the cult of the 
Shilluk divine kings is the immanence in each of the spirit of 
Nyakang." 8 Thus the Shilluk kings are encircled with a 

1 IMederichWestermaim,7fo *//>& Nyakang and Juok, the forms adopted 

ople^ their Language and Folklore by Dr. C. G. Seligmann. 

(Berlin, preface dated 1912), pp. xlii, * C. G. Seligmann, The CuU 

xliii. Mr. Westermann gives the names Nyakang and the Divine Kings &f ike 

of the demi-god and the god as Nyikang Shilluk (Khartoum, 191 1), p. 220. 

and Jwok respectively. For the sake 3 C G. SeKgmann, op. rit* o. 

of uniformity I have altered them to 231. 



BOOK lit 

certain halo of divinity because they are thought to be 
animated by the divine spirit of their ancestor, the founder 
of the dynasty. 

The belief The universal belief of the Shilluks in the former 

former humanity of Nyakang is strongly confirmed by the exact 

humanity parallelism which prevails between his worship and that of 

fofcoxih" 118 *ke dead kings his successors. Like them he is worshipped 

firmed by at his tomb ; but unlike them he has not one tomb 

SnSs" 1087 on ty> b ut ten scattered over the country. Each of these 

worship to tombs is called " the grave of Nyakang," though the people 

dead we ^ know that nobody is buried there. Like the grave- 

Sbfflui shrines of the other kings, those of Nyakang consist of a 

ing small group of circular huts of the ordinary pattern enclosed 

by a fence. Only children under puberty and the few old 

people whose duty it is to take care of the shrines may 

enter these sacred enclosures. The rites performed at them 

resemble those observed at the shrines of the kings. Two 

great ceremonies are annually performed at the shrines of 

Nyakang: one is observed before the beginning of the 

rainy season in order to ensure a due supply of rain ; 

the other is a thanksgiving at harvest, when porridge 

made from the new grain is poured out on the threshold 

of Nyakang*s hut and smeared on the outer walls of the 

building. Even before the millet is reaped the people 

cut some of the ripening ears and thrust them into the 

thatch of the sacred hut. Thus it would seem that the 

Shilluks believe themselves to be dependent on the favour 

of Nyakang for the rain and the crops. " As the giver of 

rain, Nyakang is the first and greatest benefactor of the 

people. In that country rain is everything, without rain 

there is nothing. The Shilluk does not trouble his head 

about artificial irrigation, he waits for the rain. If the rain 

falls, then the millet grows, the cows thrive, man has food 

and can dance and marry ; for that is the ideal of the 

Shilluks. 1 * 1 Sick people also bring or send sheep as an 

offering to the nearest shrine of Nyakang in order that they 

may be healed of their sickness. The attendants of the 

Hoftnayr, op. tit. p. 125. important part of the vegetable world, 
" It most be remembered that the due depends on the well-being of the divine 
growth of the crops, , of the most king" (C. G. Seligmann, */. cit. p. 229). 


sanctuary slaughter the animal, consume its flesh, and give 
the sufferer the benefit of their prayers. 1 

The example of Nyakang seems to show that under Com- 

* ** * y f j j i parison of 

favourable circumstances the worship of a dead king may ^yakang 
develop into the dominant religion of a people. There is, with Osiris 
therefore, no intrinsic improbability in the view that in 
ancient Egypt the religion of Osiris originated in that 
way. Certainly some curious resemblances can be traced 
between the dead Nyakang and the dead Osiris. Both 
died violent and mysterious deaths: the graves of both 
were pointed out in many parts of the country : both were 
deemed the great sources of fertility for the whole land : 
and both were associated with certain sacred trees and 
animals, particularly with bulls. And just as Egyptian 
kings identified themselves both in life and in death with 
their deified predecessor Osiris, so Shilluk kings are still 
believed to be animated by the spirit of their deified prede- 
cessor Nyakang and to share his divinity. 

Another African people who regularly worship, or rather The spirits 
used to worship, the spirits of their dead kings are the ^[ n ^ or . 
Baganda. Their country Uganda lies at the very source of shipped 
the Nile, where the great river issues from Lake Victoria Baghdad 
Nyanza. Among them the ghosts of dead kings were placed Central 
on an equality with the gods and received the same honour 
and worship ; they foretold events which concerned the State, 
and they advised the living king, warning him when war was 
likely to break out. The king consulted them periodically, 
visiting first one and then another of the temples in which 
the mortal remains of his predecessors were preserved with 
religious care. But the temple (malolo) of a king contained 
only his lower jawbone and his navel-string (mulongd) ; his 
body was buried elsewhere. 2 For curiously enough the 
Baganda believed that the part of the body to which the 
ghost of a dead man adheres above all others is the lower 
jawbone; wherever that portion of his person may be 
carried, the ghost, in the opinion of these people, will follow 
it, even to the ends of the earth, and will be perfectly 
content to remain with it so long as the jawbone is 

1 C. G. Seligmann, op. (it. p. 2 Rev. J. Roscoe, The Be&md* 

227. (London, 19* P- 


honoured. 1 Hence the jawbones of all the kings of Uganda 
from the earliest times to the present day have been preserved 
with the utmost care, each of them being deposited, along 
with the stump of the monarch's navel-string, in a temple 
specially dedicated to the worship of the king's ghost ; for 
it is believed that the ghosts of the deceased monarchs 
would quarrel if they shared the same temple, the question 
of precedence being one which it would be very difficult 
for them to adjust to their mutual satisfaction. 2 All the 
temples of the dead kings stand in the district called Busiro, 
which means the place of the graves, because the tombs as 
well as the temples of the departed potentates are situated 
within its boundaries. The supervision of the temples and 
of the estates attached to them was a duty incumbent on 
the Mugema or earl of Busiro, one of the few hereditary 
chiefs in the country. His principal office was that of 
Prime Minister (Katikird) to the dead kings. 3 

Tombs of When a king dies, his body is sent to Busiro and there 

kiagt'of 1 embalmed- Then it is laid to rest in a large round house, 

Uganda, which has been built for its reception on the top of a hill. 

This is the king's tomb. It is a conical structure supported 

by a central post, with a thatched roof reaching down to 

the ground. Round the hut a high strong fence of reeds 

is erected, and an outer fence encircles the whole at some 

distance lower down the hill. Here the body is placed on 

a bedstead ; the sepulchral chamber is filled with bark cloths 

till it can hold no more, the mainpost is cut down, and the 

door of the tomb closed, so that no one can enter it again. 

When that was done, the wives of the late king used to be 

brought, with their arms pinioned, and placed at intervals 

round the outer wall of the tomb, where they were clubbed 

to death. Hundreds of men were also killed in the space 

between the two fences, that their ghosts might wait on the 

ghost of the dead king in the other world. None of their 

bodies were buried ; they were left to rot where they fell. 

Then the gates in the fences were closed ; and three chiefs 

1 Rev, J. Roscoe, op* tit* pp. 113, * Rev. J. Roscoc, op. fit. pp. 104, 

282. 352 sq. ; L. F. Cunningham, Uganda 

* Rev. J. Roscoc, op. cit. pp, no, and its People (London, 1905), p. 

282, 285. 226). 


with their men guarded the dead bodies from the wild 
beasts and the vultures. But the hut in which the king's 
body reposed was never repaired ; it was allowed to moulder 
and fall into decay. 1 

Five months later the jawbone of the royal corpse was Ghosts of 
removed in order to be fashioned into an effigy or repre- SngsTof 
sentative of the dead king. For this purpose three chiefs Uganda 
entered the tomb, not through the door, but by cutting a hole to 

through the wall, and having severed the head from the tothe < 

lower law* 

body they brought it out, carefully filling up the hole in the bones and 
wall behind them, replacing the thatch, and securing the th ? r nave1 ' 
gates in the fence. When the jawbone had been removed which are 
by a chief of the Civet clan, the skull was sent back to Busiro acc rd " 

' J mgly pre- 

and buried with honour near the mouldering tomb. In served in 
contrast to the neglect of the tomb where the royal body ^^^ 
lay, the place where the skull was buried was kept in good to the war- 
repair and guarded by some of the old princesses and 
widows. As for the jawbone, it was put in an ant-hill and 
left there till the ants had eaten away all the flesh. Then, 
after it had been washed in beer and milk, it was decorated 
with cowry-shells and placed in a wooden vessel ; this vessel 
was next wrapt in bark cloths till it assumed a conical 
shape, about two and a half feet high by a foot and a half 
broad at the base. This conical packet, decorated on the 
outside with beads, was treated as an image of the deceased 
king or rather as if it were the king himself in life, for it 
was called simply u The King." Beside it was placed the 
stump of the king's navel-string, similarly wrapt in bark 
cloths and decorated, though not made up into a conical 
shape. 2 The reason for preserving both the jawbone and 
the navel-string was that the ghost of the king was sup- 
posed to attach itself to his jawbone, and the ghost of his 
double to his navel-string. For in the belief of the Baganda 
every person has a double, namely, the afterbirth or placenta, 
which is born immediately after him and is regarded by the 

1 Rev. J. Roscoe, The Baganda, Customs of the Baganda," ibid., ixxii 

pp. 104-107, /., "Notes on the (1902) pp. 44 ^. Compare L. F. 

Manners and Customs of the Baganda,** Cunningham, Uganda and its Peopk 

Journal of the Anthropological Insti- (London, 1905), pp. 224, 226. 
t*te> xxxi. (1901) p. 129; ia\ 9 a Rev, J. Roscoe, The 

" Farther Notes on the Manners and pp. 109 jy . 


people as a second child. Now that double has a ghost of 
its own, which adheres to the navel-string; and if the 
person is to remain healthy, it is essential that the ghost of 
his double should be carefully preserved. Hence every 
Baganda man and woman keeps his or her navel-string 
wrapt up in bark cloth as a treasure of great price on which 
his health and prosperity are dependent ; the precious little 
bundle is called his Twin (inulongo\ because it contains the 
ghost of his double, the afterbirth. If that is deemed 
necessary for everybody, much more is it deemed essential 
for the welfare of the king ; hence during his life the stump 
of his navel-string is kept, as we saw, 1 by one of the 
principal ministers of state and is inspected by the king 
himself every month. And when his majesty has departed 
this life, the unity of his spirit imperatively demands that 
his own ghost and the ghost of his double should be kept 
together in the same place ; that is why the jawbone and 
the navel-string of every dead king are carefully preserved 
in the same temple, because the two ghosts adhere respec- 
tively to these two parts of his person, and it would be 
unreasonable and indeed cruel to divide them. 2 
The The two ghosts having been thus safely lodged in the 

S^he* 8 two P rec * ous P arce ' s J the next thing was to install them in 
dead kings the temple, where they were to enter on their career of 
of Uganda. be ne g cen t activity. A site having been chosen, the whole 
country supplied the labour necessary for building the 
temple ; and ministers were appointed to wait upon the 
dead king. The officers of state who had held important 
posts during his life retained their titles and continued to 
discharge their duties towards their old master in death. 
Accordingly houses were built for them near the temple. 
The dowager queen also took up her residence at the 
entrance to the temple enclosure, and became its principal 
guardian. Many also of the king's widows of lower rank 
were drafted off to live inside the enclosure and keep 
watch over it. When the queen or any of these widows 
died, her place was supplied by another princess or a 

* Above, p. 147. War God of the Baganda,** Man, vii 

(1907) pp. 164 sff. ; fc, The Baganda, 
1 Rev. J. Roscoe, "Kibuka, the pp. 235 jf. 


woman of the same clan ; for the temple was maintained in 
perpetuity. However, when the reigning king died, the 
temple of his predecessor lost much of its importance, 
though it was still kept up in a less magnificent style ; 
indeed no temple of a dead king was allowed to disappear 
altogether. 1 Of all the attendants at the temple the most 
important probably was the prophet or medium (mandwa)^ 
whose business it was from time to time to be inspired by 
the ghost of the deceased monarch and to give oracles in 
his name. To this holy office he dedicated himself by 
drinking a draught of beer and a draught of milk out of 
the dead king's skull. 2 

The temple consecrated to the worship of a king regularly Oracles 
stood on a hill. The site was generally chosen by the king gj ve b 
in his life, but sometimes his choice was set aside by his kings of 
successor, who gave orders to build the temple in another J^jf* 
place. 8 The structure was a large conical or bee-hive-shaped mouth of 
hut of the ordinary pattern, divided internally into two 
chambers, an outer and an inner. Any person might enter 
the outer chamber, but the inner was sacred and no profane 
person might set foot in it ; for there the holy relics of the 
dead king, his jawbone and his navel-string, were kept for 
safety in a cell dug in the floor, and there, in close attendance 
on them, the king's ghost was believed to dwell. In front 
of the partition which screened this Holy of Holies from the 
gaze of the multitude there stood a throne, covered with lion 
and leopard skins and fenced off from the rest of the sacred 
edifice by a glittering rail of brass spears, shields, and knives. 
A forest of poles, supporting the roof, formed a series of aisles 
in perfect line, and at the end of the central nave appeared, 
like the altar of a Christian church, the throne in all its 
glory. When the king's ghost held a reception, the holy 
relics, the jawbone and the navel-string, each in its decorated 
wrappings, were brought forth and set on the throne ; and 
every person who entered the temple bowed to the ground 

1 Rev. J. Roscoc, Tht Baganda, " Further Notes on the Manners and 

pp. IIO-H2, 283 fy. Customs of the Baganda," &uL, xxaciL 

* Rev. J. Roscoe, " Notes on the (1902) p. 45. 
Manners and Customs of the Baganda," 

Journal of the Anthropological In- s Rev. J. Roscoe, The BagandAt 

stitutc, xxxl (1901) pp. 129 jy.; id., p. 283. 


and greeted the jawbone in an awestruck voice, for he 
regarded it as the king in person. Solemn music played 
during the reception, the drums rolling and the women 
chanting, while they clapped their hands to the rhythm of 
the songs. Sometimes the dead king spoke to the congre- 
gation by the voice of his prophet. That was a great event. 
When the oracle was about to be given to the expectant 
throng, the prophet stepped up to the throne, and addressing 
the spirit informed him of the business in hand. Then he 
smoked one or two pipes, and the fumes bringing on the 
prophetic fit, he began to rave and to speak in the very 
voice and with the characteristic turns of speech of the 
departed monarch, for the king's spirit was now in him. 
This message from the world beyond the grave was naturally 
received with rapt attention. Gradually the fit of inspira- 
tion passed : the voice of the prophet resumed its natural 
tones : the spirit had departed from him and returned to its 
abode in the inner room. Such a solemn audience used to 
be announced beforehand by the beating of the drums in 
the early morning, and the worshippers brought with them 
to the temple offerings of food for the dead king, as if he 
were still alive. 1 

visit paid But the greatest day of all was when the reigning king 
Uvj^kin vl " s * tec ^ ^ e temple of his father. This he did as a rule only 
to the once during his reign. Nor did the people approve of the 
v * s i* s being repeated, for each visit was the signal for the 
death of many. Yet, attracted by a painful curiosity, crowds 
assembled, followed the monarch to the temple, and thronged 
to see the great ceremony of the meeting between the king 
and the ghost of his royal father. The sacred relics were 
displayed : an old man explained them to the monarch and 
placed them in his hands : the prophet, inspired by the dead 
king's spirit, revealed to the living king his destiny. The 
interview over, the king was carried back to his house. It 
was on the return journey that he always gave, suddenly 
and without warning, the signal of death. Obedient to his 

1 Re*. J. Roscoe, "Notes on the Notes on the Manners and Customs 

Manners and Customs of the Baganda," of the Baganda," &*, xxxii. (1902) 

/t&^tftkeAnthrqtotogicetlnstitttUt p. 46; V n The BagancUt, pp. 283- 

rxxi (1901) p. 130; <, "Further 285. 




orders the guards rushed upon the crowd, captured hundreds Human 
of spectators, pinioned them, marched them back to the ^ 
temple, and slaughtered them within the precincts, that their in order 
ghosts 'might wait on the ghost of the dead king. 1 But j 
though the king rarely visited his father's ghost at the Jj 
temple, he had a private chapel for the ghost within the vast 
enclosure of the royal residence ; and here he often paid 
his devotions to the august spirit, of whom he stood greatly 
in awe. He took his wives with him to sing the departed 
monarch's praise, and he constantly made offerings at the 
shrine. Thither, too, would come the prophet to suck words 
of wisdom from the venerable ghost and to impart them 
to the king, who thus walked in the counsel of his glorified 

father. 2 

In Kiziba, a district of Central Africa on the western The souls 

side of Lake Victoria Nyanza, the souls of dead kings ^^ 
become ruling spirits ; temples are built in their honour and worshipped 
priests appointed to serve them. The people are composed m m 
of two different races, the Bairu, who are aboriginals, and 
the Bahima, who are immigrants from the north. The 
royal family belongs to the Bahima stock. In his lifetime 
the king's person is sacred ; and all his actions, property, 
and so forth are described by special terms appropriated to 
that purpose. The people are divided into totemic clans : 
the totems (muzird) are mostly animals or parts of animals : 
no man may kill or eat his totem animal, nor marry a 
woman who has the same totem as himself. The royal 
family seems to have serpents for their totem ; after death 
the king's soul lives in a serpent, while his body is buried in 
the hut where he died The people revere a supreme god 
named Rugaba, who is believed to have created man and 
cattle; but they know little about him, and though they 

1 Rev. J. Roscoe, The Baganda, 
pp. 112, 284. 

* Rev. J. Roscoe, The Bagatute, 
p. 112. It may be worth while to 
quote an early notice of the worship of 
the Kings of Uganda. See C. T. 
Wilson and R. W. Felkin, Uganda 
and ike Egyptian Soudan (London, 
1882), L 208: "The former kings of 
the country appear also to be regarded 

as demi-gods, and their graves are 
kept with religions care, and booses are 
erected over them, which are under 
the constant supervision of one of the 
principal chiefs of the country, and 
where human sacrifices are alsooccasioB- 
ally offered." The graves here spokea 
of are no doubt the temples in which 
the jawbones and navel-strings of the 
dead kings are kept and worshipped. 



ip of 





ffi > P articularf y in the case of .' 

difficult birth, he has no priests and receives no sacrifices 
The business of the priests is to act as intermediarie n * 
between God and man, but between men and the Sri ts 
The spints are believed to have been formerly kines of th,' 
world. The highest of them is a certain Wamlra, w ^ 
rules over the souls of the dead, and who would seem to 
have been a great king in his life. Temples are built for 
him; they are hke the houses of men, but only half L 

InTth -T^' ^ firC fS kept U P in ea <* tempi* 
and the priest passes the night in it He receives white 

sheep or goats as victims, and generally acts also as a 
diviner or physician. When a man is very ill he think* 
that Wamara, the lord of the spirits of the d^is summon' 
ing him to the far country ; so he sends a sacrifice to 
Wamara s priest, who prays to the spirit to let the sick 
man live yet a while.' This great spirit of an ancient 

oliris "^ VCT *** dCad> resembles to Egyptian 

N ?* ^ rtbes who in ^bit the great tableland of 
Northern Rhodesia revere a supreme being whom thev call 
^ ^ their ideas about him are hazy. g Thunder.TigS 
nmg, earthquakes, rain, and other natural phenomena arc 
gr Uped to g ether unde >- his name as manifestations of hfe 
power Among the more progressive tribes, such as the 
Awemba and the Wabisa, the great god is thought to take 
some interest in human affairs; and though they do not 
pray to him they nevertheless invoke him by his names of 
praise, which set forth his attributes as the protector and 
udge of mankind. It is he, too, who receives the souls of 
tte departed. Yet, as far as the dominant Wemba tribe 

^0?"^ cult / Le " k outside ** ordinai y 

religion. There no direct access to him by prayer or by 
sacrifices, which are made to Mulenga and the other great 

' and 


tribal and ancestral spirits instead. For upon such animism 
is founded the whole fabric of Wemba religion." 1 The 
ancestral spirits whom the Awemba and all other tribes of 
this region worship may be divided into two main classes. 
First come the spirits of departed chiefs, who are publicly 
worshipped by the whole tribe ; and second come the 
spirits of near relations who are worshipped privately 
by each head of a family. 2 "Among the Awemba there 
is no special shrine for these purely family spirits, who are 
worshipped inside the hut, and to whom family sacrifice of 
a sheep, a goat, or a fowl is made, the spirit receiving the 
blood spilt on the ground, while all the members of the 
family partake of the flesh together. For a religious Wemba 
man the cult of the spirit of his nearest relations (of his 
grandparents, or of his deceased father, mother, elder brother, 
or maternal uncle) is considered quite sufficient. Out of 
these spirit relatives a man will worship one whom he 
considers as his special familiar, for various reasons. For 
instance, the diviner may have told him that his last illness 
was caused because he had not respected the spirit of his 
uncle ; accordingly he will be careful in future to adopt his 
uncle as his tutelary spirit As a mark of such respect he 
may devote a cow or a goat to one of the spirits of his 
ancestors. Holding the fowl, for instance, in his hands, he 
will dedicate it, asking the spirit to come and abide in it, 
upon which the fowl is let go, and is afterwards called by the 
name of the spirit If the necessities, however, of the larder 
demand that it should be killed, another animal is taken, and 
the spirit is asked to accept it as a substitute ! Before 
beginning any special task, such as hoeing a new garden, 
or going on a journey, Wemba men invoke their tutelary 
spirits to be with them and to assist their efforts, in short 
ejaculatory prayers usually couched in a set formula. Among 
many of the tribes in the North Luangwa district longer 
formal prayers are still made to all the deceased ancestors 
of the clan at the time of harvest, asking them to protect 
the crops and to drive away illnesses and evil spirits from 

1 C. Gouldsbury and H. Sheane, * C Gouldsbury and H. Sbeane, 
The Great Plateau of Northern Rhodesia The Great Plateau of Northern Rhodesia, 
(London, 191 1), pp. So jy. pp. 82 ;?. 


the family, which honours them with libations of beer and 
offerings of the first-fruits/' l 
rhe Thus among these tribes, who all belong to the great 

^/i'^w' l n4 VH f\f ^"^ ^^y 

ancestral Bantu family, the public worship which a whole tribe pays 

spirits is to the souls of its dead chiefs is probably nothing but an 

tbe'mun 7 extension of the private worship which every family pays 

practical privately to the souls of its dead members. And iust as 

religion of ^ **" 3 

all the the members of his family whom a man worships privately 
tribtt! are not ra y t ^ ca ^ ^^gs conjured up by imagination out of 
a distant past, but were once real men like himself whom he 
knew in life, it may be his father, or uncle, or elder brother 
so we may be sure that in like manner the dead chiefs 
revered by the whole tribe are not creations of the mythical 
fancy, but were once real men of flesh and blood, who ruled 
over the tribe, and whose memory has been more or less 
faithfully preserved by tradition. In this respect the tribes 
of Northern Rhodesia are typical of all the tribes of that 
great Bantu family which occupies nearly the whole southern 
half of Africa, from the great equatorial lakes to the Cape 
of Good Hope. The main practical religion of all these 
numerous and widespread peoples appears to be the worship 
of their ancestors. 

To adduce in full the evidence which points to this 
conclusion would lead us too far from our present sub- 
ject; it must suffice to cite a few typical statements of 
Bantu* competent authorities which refer to different tribes of the 
Bantu stock. Speaking with special reference to the tribes of 
South-Eastern Africa, the Rev. James Macdonald tells us 
that "the religion of the Bantu, which they not only profess 
but really regulate their conduct by, is based on the belief 
that the spirits of their ancestors interfere constantly in their 
affairs. Every man worships his own ancestors and offers 
sacrifices to avert their wrath. The clan worships the spirits 
of the ancestors of its chiefs, and the tribe worships the 
spirits of the ancestors of the paramount chief/ 1 * " The 
religion of the Bantu was based upon the supposition of the 

1 CL Goakfcfcary and H. Sheane, of South African Ir&x&rjovtrnaloftk* 

fit. pp, 84 tf. Anthropological Institute xix. (1890) 

Re* Junes Maod0nald,"Maniieis, p. 286, Compaieul. t ZigtomA/rif** 

Sapewtitions, and Religions (London, 1890), p. 191. 




existence of spirits that could interfere with the affairs of 
this world. These spirits were those of their ancestors and 
their deceased chiefs, the greatest of whom had control over 
lightnihg. When the spirits became offended or hungry 
they sent a plague or disaster until sacrifices were offered 
and their wrath or hunger was appeased. The head of a 
family of commoners on such an occasion killed an animal, 
and all ate of the meat, as the hungry ghost was supposed 
to be satisfied with the smell.'* * For example, in the year 
1891 the son of a chief of the Pondomisi tribe was arrested 
for an assault and sent for trial before a colonial court It 
chanced to be a season of intense heat and severe drought, 
and the Pondomisi tribe attributed these calamities to the 
wrath of a dead chief named Gwanya, very famous in his 
lifetime, whose body, fastened to a log, had been buried 
under a heap of stones in a deep pool of the Lina river. 
This redoubtable chieftain was the seventh ancestor in the 
direct line of the man who had committed the assault ; and 
he warmly resented the indignity which the whites had done 
to a noble scion of his house by consigning him to durance 
vile To appease the natural indignation of the ghost, the 
tribesmen killed cattle on the banks of the pool which 
contained his grave, and threw the flesh into the water 
along with new dishes full of beer. The prisoner, however, 
was convicted of the assault and sentenced by the ruthless 
magistrate, who was no respecter of ghosts, to pay a fine. 
But the tribe clubbed together and paid the fine for him ; 
and a few days later rain fell in plenty. The mollified ghost 
had opened the celestial sluices. 2 

Another writer, describing the religion of the South 

1 G, McCall Theal, Records of 
South-Eastern Africa^ vii. (1901) pp. 
399 s $* With regard to the ghost who 
controls lightning see Mr. Warner's 
notes in Col. Maclean's Compendium 
f Kafir Laws and Customs (Cape 
Town, 1 866), pp. 82 *. : "The 
Ka6rs have strange notions respecting 
the lightning. They consider that it 
is governed by the umskologu, or ghost, 
of the greatest and most renowned of 
their departed chiefs ; and who is 
emphatically styled the inkosi; but 

they are not at all clear as to which 
of their ancestors is intended by this 
designation. Hence they allow of no 
lamentation being made for a person 
killed by lightning ; as they say that it 
would be a sign of disloyalty to lament 
for one whom the inkosi had sent for, 
and whose services he consequently 
needed ; and it would cause him to 
punish them, by making the lightning 
again to descend and do them another 

* G* McCall Theal, of, cit. vii, 400. 


Sacrifices African Bantus, tells us that " the ancestral spirits love the 
MDong dCad ver y things they loved before they passed through the flesh ; 
the J3amu they cherish the same desires and have the same antipathies. 
The living cannot add to the number of the wives of ancestral 
spirits ; but they can kill cattle in their honour and keep 
their praise and memory alive on earth. Above all things, 
they can give them beef and beer. And if the living do 
not give them sufficient of these things the spirits are supposed 
to give the people a bad time : they send drought, and sick- 
ness, and famine, until people kill cattle in their honour. 
When men are alive they love to be praised and flattered, 
fed and attended to ; after death they want the very same 
things, for death does not change personality. ... In 
time of drought, or sickness, or great trouble, there would 
be great searchings of heart as to which ancestor had been 
neglected, for the trouble would be supposed to be caused 
by the neglected ancestor. Most of the people would get 
the subject on their nerves (at least, as far as a Kafir could 
get anything on the leather strings which do duty for nerves), 
and some one would be sure to have a vivid dream in which 
an ancestor would complain that the people had not praised 
him half enough of late. So an ox would be killed, either 
by the head-man of the kraal or by a diviner. Then the 
man would say over the ox as it was being killed, ' Cry out, 
ox of So-and-So ; listen to us, So-and-So ; this is your ox ; 
we praise you by all your laud-giving names, and tell of all 
your deeds ; do not be angry with us any more ; do you not 
see that this is your ox ? Do not accuse us ot neglecting 
you ; when, forsooth, have we ceased to praise you and offer 
you meat and beer ? Take note, then, that here is another 
ox we are offering to you.' When the ox is dead some of 
the meat is mixed with herbs and medicines and placed in 
a hut with a bowlful of blood. This meat is placed in the 
part of the hut where the man loved to sit while he was 
alive, and some one is told off to guard the sacrifice. The 
meat is left for a night, or longer, and the spirits are 
supposed to come and enjoy the smell, or drink the serum 
which oozes from the meat, and to inhale the smell of the 
beer. The priest or diviner will then sprinkle the people 
and the huts with medicine made from the contents of the 


stomach of the ox. He places a little on a sherd ; when 
this is dry he burns it and calls on the spirits to smell the 
incense. After the meat has been left for a certain time it 
is taken out and cooked, and eaten by the men near the 
cattle kraal in public. ... If the trouble does not vanish 
after this ceremony the people get angry and say to the 
spirits, ' When have we ceased to kill cattle for you, and 
when have we ever refused to praise you by your praise- 
names? Why, then, do you treat us so shabbily? If you 
do not behave better we shall utterly forget your names, and 
then what will you do when there is no one to praise you ? 
You will have to go and live on grasshoppers. If you do 
not mend your ways we shall forget you. What use is it 
that we kill oxen for you and praise you ? You do not give 
us rain or crops, or cause our cattle to bear well ; you show 
no gratitude in return for all we do for you. We shall 
utterly disown you. We shall tell the people that, as for us, 
we have no ancestral spirits, and this will be to your shame. 
We are disgusted with you.'" 1 Thus the sweet savour of 
beef and beer does not suffice to content Caffre ghosts ; 
they share the love of praise and flattery with many gods 
of higher rank. 

Among the Basutos, an important Bantu people of Worship 
South Africa, " each family is supposed to be under the amo 
direct influence and protection of its ancestors ; but the Basutos. 
tribe, taken as a whole, acknowledges for its national gods 
the ancestors of the reigning sovereign. Thus, the Basutos 
address their prayers to Monaheng and Motlumi, from 
whom their chiefs are descended. The Baharutsis and the 
Barolongs invoke Tobege and his wife Mampa. Marnpa 
makes known the will of her husband, announcing each of 
her revelations by these words, * re I O re I ' ' He has 
said ! he has said ! ' They make a distinction between the 
ancient and modern divinities. The latter are considered 
inferior in power, but more accessible ; hence this formula, 
which is often used : ' New gods ! entreat the ancient gods 
for us ! ' In all countries spirits are more the objects of 
fear than of love. A deep feeling of terror generally accom- 
panies the idea that the dead dispose of the lot of the living* 

* Dudley Kidd, The Essential Kafir (London, 1904), pp. 88-91. 



The ancients spoke much of incensed shades. If they 
sacrificed to the rnanes, it was generally in order to appease 
them. These ideas perfectly correspond to those of the 
Basutos. They conjure rather than pray ; although they 
seek to gain favours, they think more of averting chastise- 
ment. Their predominating idea as to their ancestors is, 
that they are continually endeavouring to draw them to 
themselves. Every disease is attributed to them ; thus 
medicine among these people is almost entirely a religious 
affair. The first thing is to discover, by means of the litaola 
(divining bones), under the influence of what molimo the 
patient is supposed to be. Is it an ancestor on the father's 
side or the mother's? According as fate decides, the 
paternal or maternal uncle will offer the purifying sacrifice, 
but rarely the father or brother. This sacrifice alone can 
render efficacious the medicines prescribed by the ngaka 
(doctor). ... As soon as a person is dead he takes his 
place among the family gods. His remains are deposited 
in the cattle-pen. An ox is immolated over his grave : 
this is the first oblation made to the new divinity, and at 
the same time an act of intercession in his favour, serving 
to ensure his happy reception in the subterranean regions. 
All those present aid in sprinkling the grave, and repeat the 
following prayer : ' Repose in peace with the gods ; give us 
tranquil nights/ " * 
Worship Similarly among the Thonga, another Bantu tribe of 

So** Afrf ca, " any man, who has departed this earthly life, 
becomes a shikwembu> a god"; 2 "when an old decrepit 
man or woman dies, he at once becomes a god : he has 
entered the domain of infinity." 3 In this tribe "the spirits 
of the ancestors are the main objects of religious worship. 
They form the principal category of spirits." 4 "On the 
one hand, the ancestor-gods are truly gods, endowed with 
the attributes of divinity ; whilst, on the other, they seem 
to be nothing but mere human beings, exactly on the same 
level as their worshippers," fi There are two great classes 

1 Rev, K CasaHs, The Besutot 1913), iL 347. 

(London, 1861), pp. 248-250. * H. A. Junod, op. fit. iL 385, 

* Henri A. Junod, The Lift of a * H. A. Junod, op. tit. iL 344. 

S**tk Afrit** 7H&{Nuchatel, 1912- * H. A. Junod, op. cit. ii. 385. 


of these ancestor-gods, to wit, " those of the family, and 
those of the country, the latter being those of the reigning 
family. They do not differ as regards their nature. In 
national calamities those of the country are invoked, whilst, 
for purely family matters, those of the family are called 
upon. Moreover, each family has two sets of gods, those 
on the father's side and those on the mother's, those of 
kweru and those of bakokwana* They are equal in dignity. 
Both can be invoked, and the divinatory bones are always 
asked to which the offering must be made. It seems, 
however, as if the gods on the mother's side were more 
tender-hearted and more popular than those on the father's. 
The reason for this is, perhaps, that relations are easier with 
the family of the mother than with that of the father. It is 
also just possible that it is a relic of the matriarchal period, 
when the ancestors of the mother only were known, and 
consequently invoked. At any rate, the part played by 
batukulu [uterine] nephews in the offerings shows that they 
are the true representatives of the gods, not of those of their 
father, but of their mother/' 1 Among the Thonga "the 
belief in the continuation of life after death is universal, 
being at the base of the ancestrolatry, which is the religion 
of the tribe." 2 " How real is the ancestrolatry, the religion 
of the Thonga, of, in fact, all the South African Bantus ! 
How frequent and manifold are its manifestations ! This is 
the first, and the most perceptible set of their religious 
intuitions, and any European, who has stayed in their 
villages, learnt their language, and tried to understand their 
customs, has had the opportunity of familiarizing himself 
with this religion." 8 

Among the Basutos and Bechuanas, who also belong to Sacrifices 
the great Bantu family, the sacrificial ritual is not highly ^^ d 
developed. '* Only in great misfortunes which affect the among the 
whole people or the royal family, a black ox is slaughtered ; 
for in such cases they always think that the angry spirits 
of the departed are the cause of all the suffering. * Re 
amogtoa kt badimo} say the people, 'the spirits are rob- 
bing us.' The ox is led to the chiefs grave ; there they 

1 H. A. Juood, & fit. ii 348 * H. A. Junod, op. at. il 341. 
if * H. A. Junod, op. tit. il 346. 



pray, * Lord, we are come to call upon thee, we who are 
thy children ; make not our hearts troubled ; take not, 
Lord, that which is ours/ The old chief is honoured and 
praised in songs, he is invoked by all his praise-names, the 
ox is killed and its flesh eaten, but the blood and the 
contents of the stomach are poured on the grave, and there 
the bones of the sacrificed animal are also deposited." l 
worship The Zulus, another great Bantu tribe of South Africa, 

~* A " J " J believe in the existence of a being whom they call Unkul- 
unkulu, which means "the Old-Old-one, the most ancient 
man." They say that " it is he who was the first man ; he 
broke off in the beginning. We do not know his wife ; and 
the ancients do not tell us that he had a wife." 2 This 
Old-Old-one or Great-Great-one " is represented as having 
made all things men, cattle, water, fire, the mountains, 
and whatever else is seen. He is also said to have appointed 
their names. Creation was effected by splitting a reed, when 
the first man and other things issued from the cleft." 8 
Further, the Zulus and other Caffre tribes of Natal " believe 
that, when a person dies, his i-hloze or isi-tute survives. 
These words are translated 'spirit/ and there seems no 
objection to the rendering. They refer to something mani- 
festly distinguished from the body, and the nature of which 
the prophets endeavour to explain by saying that it is 
identical with the shadow. The residence of the ama-hloze> 
or spirits, seems to be beneath ; the practice of breaking a 
man's assagais, before they are buried with him, shows that 
he is believed to return to earth through the grave ; while it 
appears to be generally thought that, if the earth were 
removed from the grave, the ghost would return and frighten 
his descendants. When spirits have entered the future state, 
they are believed to possess great power ; prosperity is 
ascribed to their favour, and misfortune to their anger ; they 
are elevated in fact to the rank of deities, and (except where 
the Great-Great is worshipped concurrently with them) they 
are the only objects of a Kafir's adoration. Their attention 

1 A. Merensky, Beitrage xur Kcnnt- Springvale, etc., 1868) pp. I sq* 

mt SM-Afrikas (Berlin, 1875), p. 130. * Rev. Joseph Shooter, Tke Kafri 

* R*Y. H. Callaway, The ReU^ous <f Natal and ike Zulu Country (London, 

System of tke Amazulu, L (Natal, 1857), p. 159. 


(or providence) is limited to their own relatives a father 
caring for the family, and a chief for the tribe, which they 
respectively left behind them. They are believed to occupy 
the same relative position as they did in the body, the departed 
spirit of a chief being sometimes invoked to compel a man's 
ancestors to bless him." l 

" To these shades of the dead, especially to the ghosts of Sacrifice* 
their great men, as Jama, Senzangakona, and Chaka, their "^ 
former kings, they look for help, and offer sacrifices ; that is, among the 
slaughter cattle to them, and offer a sort of prayer, in time Zulus> 
of danger and distress. . . . When they are sick, they 
slaughter cattle to the shades, and say, * Father, look on me, 
that this disease may cease from me. Let me have health 
on the earth, and live a long time/ They carry the meat 
into the house, and shut it up there, saying, ' Let the paternal 
shades eat, so shall they know that the offering was made 
for them, and grant us great wealth, so that both we and our 
children may prosper/ In the cattle-fold they talk a long 
time, praising the ghosts ; they take the contents of the 
stomach, and strew it upon all the fold. Again they take 
it, and strew it within the houses, saying, * Hail, friend ! Thou 
of such a place, grant us a blessing, beholding what we have 
done. You see this distress ; may you remove it, since we 
have given you our animal. We know not what more you 
want, whether you still require anything more or not* They 
say, * May you grant us grain, that it may be abundant, that 
we may eat, of course, and not be in need of anything, since 
now we have given you what you want* They say, * Yes, 
for a long time have you preserved me in all my going. 
Behold, you see, I have just come to have a kraal. This 
kraal was built by yourself, father ; and now why do you 
consent to diminish your own kraal? Build on us as you 
have begun, let it be large, that your offspring, still here 
above, may increase, increasing in knowledge of you, whence 
cometh great power/ Sometimes they make beer for the 
ghosts, and leave a little in the pot, saying, * It will be eaten 
by the ghosts that they may grant an abundant harvest 
again, that we may not have a famine/ If one is on the 
point of being injured by anything, he says, ' I was pre- 

1 Rev. J. Shooter, op. dt. p. 161. 


served by our divinity, which was still watching over me. 1 
Perhaps he slaughters a goat in honour of the same, and 
puts the gall on his head ; and when the goat cries out for 
pain of being killed, he says, * Yes, then, there is your animal, 
let it cry, that ye may hear, ye our gods who have preserved 
me ; I myself am desirous of living on thus a long time here 
on the earth ; why then do you call me to account, since I 
think I am all right in respect to you ? And while I live, I 
put my trust in you, our paternal and maternal gods.' " l 
A native "Black people," say the Zulus, "do not worship all 

Amatongo indifferently, that is, all the dead of their tribe. 

of the Speaking generally, the head of each house is worshipped 
by the children of that house ; for they do not know the 
ancients who are dead, nor their laud-giving names, nor their 
names. But their father whom they knew is the head by 
whom they begin and end in their prayer, for they know 
him best, and his love for his children ; they remember his 
kindness to them whilst he was living ; they compare his 
treatment of them whilst he was living, support themselves 
by it, and say, c He will still treat us in the same way now 
he is dead. We do not know why he should regard others 
besides us ; he will regard us only.' So it is then although 
they worship the many Amatongo of their tribe, making a 
great fence around them for their protection ; yet their father 
is far before all others when they worship the Amatongo. 
Their father is a great treasure to them even when he is 
dead. And those of his children who are already grown up 
know him thoroughly, his gentleness, and his bravery. And 
if there is illness in the village, the eldest son lauds him 
with the laud-giving names which he gained when fighting 
with the enemy, and at the same time lauds all the other 
Amatongo ; the son reproves the father, saying, * We for our 
parts may just die. Who are you looking after? Let us 
die all of us, that we may see into whose house you will 
enter, 2 You will eat grasshoppers ; you will no longer be 

1 Rev. Lewis Groat, Zulu-land, or of care they are afflicted, that if they 

Life emeng the Zulu- Kafirs (Phila- should all die in consequence, and thus 

delphia, N.D.), pp. 137, 143-145. his worshippers come to an end, he 

1 " That is, they suggest to the would have none to worship him ; and 

Itongo [ancestral spirit, singular of therefore for his own sake, as well as 

Amatongo), by whose ill-will or want for theirs, he had better preserve 


invited to go anywhere, if you destroy your own village/ 
After that, because they have worshipped him, they take 
courage saying, ' He has heard ; he will come and treat our 
diseases, and they will cease.' Such then is the faith which 
children have in the Itongo [ancestral spirit] which is their 
father. And if there is a chief wife of a village, who has 
given birth to children, and if her husband is not dead, her 
Itongo is much reverenced by her husband and all the 
children. And that chief wife becomes an Itongo which 
takes great care of the village. But it is the father especially 
that is the head of the village." l Thus among the Zulus 
it is the spirits of those who have just died, especially the 
spirits of fathers and mothers, who are most revered and 
worshipped. The spirits of the more remote dead are for- 

When the missionaries inquired into the religious ideas The 
of the Herero, a Bantu tribe of German South-West Africa, o 
they heard much of a certain Mukuru, whom at first they among the 
took to be the great god of heaven and earth. Accord- 3lcfcrnu 

ingly they adopted Mukuru as the native name for the 
Christian God, and set out on their mission to preach the Africa. 
glad tidings of Mukuru and his divine Son to the poor 
benighted heathen. But their first experiences were dis- 
concerting. Again and again when they arrived in 
a village and announced their intention to the chief, they 
were brought up very short by that great man, who told 
them with an air of astonishment that he himself was 
Mukuru. For example, Messrs. Buttner and Irle paid a visit 
to an old chief named Tjenda and remonstrated with him on 
the impropriety of which he had been guilty in giving a 
baptized girl in marriage to a native gentleman whose 
domestic arrangements were framed on the polygamous 
patriarchal pattern. "Mukuru will punish you for that," 
said Mr. Buttnen "What?" roared the chief. "Who's 
Mukuru ? Why, I am Mukuru in my own tribe," and he 

people, that there may be a village for Amatongo or Ancestor Worship &$ 

him to enter, and meat of the sacrifices ing among the Amasu/u t m their own 

for him to eat." words ^ with a translation into Engiiik 

1 Rev. Henry Callaway, The R*- (Natal, Springvale, etc, 1869), pp. 

Ugious System of the Amamtlu^ Part it, 144-1 46* 




bundled the two missionaries out of the village. A repetition 
of these painful incidents at last impressed on the minds of 
the missionaries the conviction that Mukuru was not God at 
all but merely the head of a family, an ancestor, whether 
alive or dead. 1 They ascertained at the same time that the 
Herero recognize a good god who dwells in heaven and 
bears the name of Ndjambi Karunga. But they do not 
worship him nor bring him offerings, because he is so kind 
that he hurts nobody, and therefore they need not fear him. 
w Rather they share the opinion of the other Bantu tribes 
that Ndjambi, the good Creator, has withdrawn to heaven 
and left the government on earth to the demons." 2 " It is 
true that the Herero are acquainted with punishment for 
what is bad. But that punishment they ascribe to Mukuru 
or tk 6 "" ancestors. It is their ancestors (Ovakuru*} whom 
worshipped they must fear ; it is they who are angry and can bring 
danger and misfortune on a man. So it is intelligible that 
the whole of their worship turns, not on Ndjambi Karunga, 
but on their ancestors. It is in order to win and keep their 
favour, to avert their displeasure and wrath, in short to 
propitiate them, that the Herero bring their many offerings ; 
they do so not out of gratitude, but out of fear, not out of 
love, but out of terror. Their religion is a worship of 
ancestors with here and there touches of fetishism." 4 " Thus 
among the Herero, as among all Bantu tribes, there exists a 
religious dualism : they know the highest, the true God, but 
they worship their ancestors." 6 And among the worshipful 


by the 

1 Missionar J. Irle, Die fferero t ein 
Beitrag zur Landes- "Polks- und Mis- 
sionskunde (Gutersloh, 1906), pp. 72 


* J. Irle, op. tit. p, 73. 

3 Ovakuru, the plural form of 

4 J. Irle, op. tit. p. 74. 

* J. Irle, op. tit* p. 75. The writer 
tells us (I.e.] that the Herero name for 
the good celestial God, whom they 
acknowledge but do not worship, is 
common, in different forms, to almost 
all the Bantu tribes. Among the 
Ovambo it is Kalimga ; among tribes 
of Loango, the Congo, Angola and 
Benguela it is Zambi, Njambi, Ambi, 

Njame, Onjame, Ngambe, Nsambi ; 
in the Cameroons it is Nzambi, etc. 
Compare John H. Weeks, Among 
Congo Cannibals (London, 1913), pp. 
246 sq. : ** We have found a vague 
knowledge of a Supreme Being, and 
a belief in Him, very general among 
those tribes on the Congo with which 
we have come into contact. . . . On 
the Lower Congo He is called Ntambi, 
or by His fuller title Nzambi a mpungu; 
no satisfactory root word has yet been 
found for Nsambi, but for mpungv 
there are sayings and proverbs that 
clearly indicate its meaning as, most 
of all, supreme, highest, and Nzambi 
a mfungu as the Being most High, 




ancestors " the old dead chiefs of every tribe take the first 
place. The son of a great dead chief and the whole tribe 
worship that old father as their god. But the remote 
ancestors of that chief they do not worship, indeed they 
hardly know them by name and can no longer point to their 
graves." * Thus with the Herero, as with the Zulus, it is 
the recent and well-remembered dead who are chiefly or 
exclusively worshipped; as the souls of the departed recede 

or Supreme. On the Upper Congo 
among the Bobangi folk the word used 
for the Supreme Being is Nyambc ; 
among the Lulanga people, Nzakomba ; 
among the Boloki, Njambe ; among 
the Bopoto people it is Libanza. , . . 
It is interesting to note that the most 
common name for the Supreme Being 
on the Congo is also known, in one 
form or another, over an extensive 
area of Africa reaching from 6 north 
of the Equator away to extreme South 
Africa ; as, for example, among the 
Ashanti it is Qnyame, at Gaboon it 
is Anyambic, and two thousand miles 
away among the Barotse folk it is 
Niambf. These are the names that 
stand for a Being who is endowed 
with strength, wealth, and wisdom by 
the natives ; and He is also regarded 
and spoken of by them as the principal 
Creator of the world, and the Maker 
of all things. . . . But the Supreme 
Being is believed by the natives to have 
withdrawn Himself to a great distance 
after performing His creative works; 
that He has now little or no concern 
in mundane affairs ; and apparently 
no power over spirits and no control 
over the lives of men, either to pro- 
tect them from malignant spirits or to 
help them by averting danger. They 
also consider the Supreme Being 
(Nzambi} as being so good and kind 
that there is no need to appease 
Him by rites, ceremonies or sacri- 
fices. Hence they never pray to this 
Supreme One, they never worship Him, 
or think of Him as being interested 
in the doings of the world and its 

1 J. Irle, op. eft. p, 77. Mr. Irle's 
account of the religion of the Herero 
or Ovaherero is rully borne out by 

the testimony of earlier missionaries 
among the tribe. See Rev. G. 
Viehe, "Some Customs of the Ova- 
herero" (South African} Folk -tort 
Journal ', i. (Cape Town, 1879} pp. 
64 sq. : "The religious customs and 
ceremonies of the Ovaherero are all 
rooted in the presumption that the 
deceased continue to live, and that 
they have a great influence on earth, 
and exercise power over the life and 
death of man. This influence and 
power is ascribed especially to those 
who have been great men, and who 
become Ova&uru after death. The 
numerous religious customs and cere- 
monies are a worshipping of the 
ancestors." Further, Mr. Viehe re- 
ports that "the Ovaherero have a 
slight idea of another being (Supreme 
being ?) which differs greatly from the 
Ovakuru, is superior to them, and is 
supposed never to have been a human 
being. It is called Karunga, . . . 
Karunga does only good ; whilst the 
influence of the Ovakuru is more 
feared than wished for; and, there- 
fore, it is not thought necessary to 
bring sacrifices to Karunga to guard 
against his influence.' 1 He is situated 
so high, and is so superior to men " that 
he takes little special notice of them ; 
and so the Ovaherero, on their part, 
also trouble themselves little about 
this superior being" (op. fit. p. 67 
note*). Similar evidence is given 
by another missionary as to the belief 
of the Herero in a superior god 
Karunga and their fear and worship 
of ancestral spirits. See th* Rev. H. 
Beiderbecke, "Some Religious Ideas 
and Customs of the Ovaherero" (S0uf& 
African} Folk-l&rc Journal, ii (Cape 
Town, 1880) pp. 88 sqq. 


BOOK in 

further and further into the past their memory perishes, and 
the nimbus of supernatural glory which encircled it for a time 
fades gradually away. 

The The religion of the Ovambo, another Bantu tribe of 

orSiedead German South- West Africa, is similar. They also recognize 
among the a great being named Kalunga, who created the world and 
Ovamb0 ' man, but they neither fear nor worship him. A far greater 
part is played in the religion of the Ovambo by their belief 
in spirits, and amongst the worshipful spirits a conspicuous 
place is assigned to the souls of the dead. Every man 
leaves behind him at death a spirit, which continues to exist 
on earth and can influence the living ; for example, it may 
enter into their bodies and thereby cause all sorts of sick- 
ness. However, the souls of ordinary dead men can exert 
their influence only on members of their own families ; the 
souls of dead chiefs, on the other hand, have power over the 
rain, which they can either give or withhold. To these 
powerful spirits a portion of the new corn is offered at 
harvest as a thank - offering for their forbearance in not 
visiting the people with sickness, and above all for their 
bounty in sending down the fertilizing showers on the crops. 
The souls of dead magicians are particularly dreaded ; and 
to prevent the multiplication of these dangerous spirits it 
is customary to dismember their bodies, severing the arms 
and legs from the trunk and cutting the tongue out of 
the mouth. If these precautions are taken immediately 
after death, the soul of the dead man cannot become 
a dangerous ghost ; the mutilation of his body has practi- 
cally disarmed his spirit 1 

The The Wahehe, a Bantu tribe of German East Africa, 

believe in a great invisible spirit named Nguruhi, who created 
the the world and rules both human destiny and the elements. 



East the wind to blow, the thunder to roll, and the crops to 
grow. ** This god is accordingly conceived as all-powerful, 
yet with the limitation that he only exercises a general 
power of direction over the world, especially human fate, 
while the masoka % the spirits of the dead, wield a per- 

1 Hermann Tonjes, Ovamhitmd, Ltmd> Ltutt, Mission (Berlin, 1911)* PP- 


manent and very considerable influence on the course of 
particular events. Nguruhi is lord also of all the spirits 
of the dead (masoka)> but his relation to them has not 
been further thought out. With this Supreme Being the 
people hold no intercourse by means of prayer, sacrifice, 
or in any other way. He stands remote from the religious 
life of the Wahehe and really serves only as an explana- 
tion of all those things and events which are otherwise 
inexplicable. All religious intercourse, all worship centres 
alone on the spirits of the dead. Hence if we speak of a 
religion of the Wahehe, it must be described as a pure 
worship of ancestors." l The human soul quits the body at 
death and at once becomes an ancestral spirit (m'soka^ 
invisible and endowed with complete liberty of motion* 
Even the youngest children have souls which rank among 
the ancestral spirits at death. Hence the great multitude of 
the dead comprises spirits of all ages, from the infant one 
day old to the grey-haired patriarch. They are good or bad 
according as they were good or bad in life, and their social 
position also is unchanged. He who was powerful in life is 
powerful also in death ; he who was a nobody among men 
is a nobody also among the spirits. Hence the ghost of a 
great man can do more for the living than the ghost of a 
common man ; and the ghost of a man can do more than 
the ghost of a woman. Yet even the meanest ghost has power 
over the greatest living man, who can only defend himself 
by appealing for help to stronger ancestral spirits. Thus 
while the Supreme Being exercises a general superintendence 
over affairs, the real administration is in the hands of the 
ancestral spirits. While he, for example, regulates the 
weather as a whole, it is the ghosts who cause each par- 
ticular shower to fall or the sun to break out in glory from 
the clouds. If he sends plagues on the whole people or 
stays the ravages of disease, it is the ghosts who make each 
individual sick or sound. These powerful spirits exert 
themselves especially to help their descendants, though they 

1 . Nigmann, Die Waktke (Berlin, the tribe, individual tribesmen, the 

1908), pp. 22 jy. The writer does country, and so forth (op. at. p. 224) 

not describe the Wahehe as a Bantu we may infer that die people belong to 

tribe, bat from the characteristic pre- the Bantu stock. 
fixes which they employ to designate 


do not hesitate to plague their own kith and kin if they think 
themselves neglected. They flit freely through the air and 
perch on trees, mountains, and so forth, but they lodge by 
preference at their graves, and you are always sure of finding 
them there, if you wish to consult them. 1 That is why in 
the country of the Wahehe the only places of sacrifice are 
the graves ; temples and altars are unknown. 2 However, it is 
only the bodies of considerable persons that are buried ; the 
corpses of common folk are simply thrown away in the 
bush ; s so that the number of graves and consequently of 
sacrificial places is strictly limited. The spirits of the dead 
appear to the living most commonly in dreams to give 
them information or warning, but oftener to chide and 
torment them. So the sleeper wakes in a fright and consults 
a diviner, who directs him what he must do in order to 
appease the angry ghost Following the directions of his 
spiritual adviser the man sacrifices an ox, or it may be only 
a sheep or a fowl, at the tomb of one of his ancestors, prays 
to the ghost, and having scattered a few morsels of the 
victim's flesh on the grave, and spat a mouthful of beer upon 
it, retires with his family to feast on the remainder of the 
carcase. Such sacrifices to the dead are offered on occasion 
of sickness, the lack of male heirs, a threatened war, an 
intended journey, in short, before any important undertaking 
of which the issue is doubtful ; and they are accompanied 
by prayers for health, victory, good harvests, and so forth. 4 
The Once more, the Bahima, a Bantu people of Ankole, in 

tfih^dead Central Africa, believe in a supreme god Lugaba, who 
among the dwells in the sky and created man and beast ; but " this 

*D lw*1M* 

of AnkoiG, supreme being is not worshipped nor are offerings made to 
in Central him he has no sacred place. Although they talk freely about 
him, and acknowledge him to be their great benefactor, 
they accept all his gifts as a matter of course, and make him 
no offering in return. . . . One must not, therefore, con- 
clude that the Bahima are an irreligious people ; like most of 
the Bantu tribes their religion consists chiefly in dealing with 
ghosts of departed relatives, and in standing well with them ; 

1 E. Nigmann, Die Wahehe^ pp. 23 3 . Nigmann, op. fit. p. 39. 
jy. 4 . Nigmann, op. at. pp. 24 

* E. Nigmann, op. tit. p. 35. 35 sqq. 




from the king to the humblest peasant the ghosts call for 
daily consideration and constant offerings, whilst the deities 
are only sought in case of great trials or national calamities." l 
To return, now, to the worship of dead chiefs or kings 
among the Bantu tribes of Northern Rhodesia. The spirits 
of dead chiefs had priestesses to wait upon them, who were <* 
called the " wives of the departed." These were elderly 
women who led a celibate life and swept the huts dedi- 
cated to the ghosts of the chiefs. The aid of these dead Rhodesia. 
potentates was invoked in time of war and in seasons of 
drought, and special offerings were brought to their shrines 
at harvest 2 Among the Awemba, who form the aristo- 
cracy of the country, 8 when a diviner announced that a 
drought was caused by the spirits of dead chiefs or kings 
buried at Mwaruli, a bull would be sent to be sacrificed 
to the souls of the deceased rulers ; or if the drought 
was severe, a human victim would be despatched, and the 
high priest would keep him caged in a stoutly woven 
fish -basket, until the preparations for the sacrifice were 
complete. 4 Among the Yombe no one might eat of the 
first-fruits of the crops until the living chief had sacrificed 
a bull before the tomb of his grandfather, and had deposited 
pots of fresh beer and porridge, made from the first-fruits, 
in front of the shrine. The ground about the tomb was 
then carefully weeded, and the blood of the sacrificial victim 
sprinkled on the freshly turned up soil and on the rafters 
of the little hut After thanking the ghost of his grandfather 
for the harvest, and begging him to partake of the first- 
fruits, the chief and his train withdrew to feast on the 
carcase and the fresh porridge and beer at the village. 5 
When the head chief or king of the Awemba had resolved 

1 Rev. J. Roscoe, " The Bahima, a 
Cow Tribe of Enkole^/awroo/ of the 
Royal Anthropological Institute, xxzvii. 
(1907) pp. 1 08 sq. The supreme 
god Lugaba is no doubt the same with 
the supreme god Rugaba worshipped 
by the Bahimas in Kiziba. See 
above, p. 173. With regard to the 
religion of the Baganda the same 
authority tells us that " the last, and 
possibly the most venerated, class of 
religious objects were the ghosts of 

departed relatives. The power of 
ghosts for good or evil was incalcul- 
able" (The Baganda, p. 273). 

8 C Gouldsbury and H. Sheane, 
The Great Plateau of Northern Rho- 
desia^ p. 83. 

C Gouldsbury and H. Sheane, 
op. cit. p. ii. 

* C Gouldsbury and H. Sheane* 
op. cit* p. 292. 

* C Gouldsbury and H. Sheane, 
op. cit. pp. 294 *P* 


to make war on a distant enemy, he and the older men 
of the tribe would pray daily for victory to the spirits of 
the dead kings, his predecessors. The day before the army 
was to set forth, the great war-drum boomed out and the 
warriors flocked together from the outlying districts under 
their respective captains. In the dusk of the evening the 
king and the elderly women, who passed for the wives of 
the dead kings and tended their shrines at the capital, 
went and prayed at these shrines that the souls of the 
departed monarchs would keep the war-path free from foes 
and lead the king in a straight course to the enemy's 
stockade. These solemn prayers the king led in person 
and the women beat their bare breasts as they joined in 
the earnest appeal. Next morning the whole army was 
marshalled in front of the ghost-huts of the dead kings: 
the living king danced a war-dance before his ancestors, 
while his chief wife sprinkled him with holy flour; and 
all prostrated themselves in supplication before the shrines. 1 
Among Among these tribes of Northern Rhodesia the spirits 

!fs e piri!r of dead chiefs or kin S s sometimes take possession of the 
of dead bodies of live men or women and prophesy through their 
tin^ro mouths. When the spirit of a dead chief comes over a 
thought man, he begins to roar like a lion, whereupon the women 
^her together and beat the drums, shouting that the chief 

bodily has come to visit the village. The man thus temporarily 

POSSeSSlOn J -n i re* t J 

of men and inspired will prophesy of future wars or impending attacks 

by iions ' While the ins P iration la s*s, he may eat nothing 
cooked by fire, but only unfermented dough. However, 


m animals. the spirit of a departed chief takes possession of women 
oftener than of men. " These women assert that they are 
possessed by the soul of some dead chief, and when they 
feel the divine afflatus, whiten their faces to attract atten- 
tion, and anoint themselves with flour, which has a religious 
and sanctifying potency. One of their number beats a 
drum, and the others dance, singing at the same time 
a weird song, with curious intervals. Finally, when they 
have arrived at the requisite pitch of religious exaltation, 
the possessed woman falls to the ground, and bursts forth 

Sheanc ' " Wcmba $<*tey* No. xli (October, 1911) pp. 

Warpaths,* Journal rf tkt African 25 *. 


into a low and almost inarticulate chant, which has a most 
uncanny effect Ail are silent at once, and the bashinganga 
(medicine-men) gather round to interpret the voice of the 
spirit." l Sometimes the spirits of departed chiefs are 
reincarnated in animals, which are then revered as the 
abodes of the dead rulers. Thus the paramount chief of 
the Amambwe is incarnated after death in the form of a 
young lion, while Bisa and Wiwa chiefs come back in the 
shape of pythons. In one of the rest-houses near Fife 
a tame python waxed fat on the offerings of fowls and sour 
beer which the Winamwanga presented to it in the fond 
belief that it housed the spirit of one of their dead chiefs. 
One day unfortunately for himself the reptile deity ventured 
to dispute the possession of the rest-house with a German 
cattle-dealer who was passing by; a discharge of shot 
settled the dispute in favour of the cattle-dealer, and the 
worshippers of the deity beheld him no more. 2 

Another Bantu people who worship the spirits of their Bdief of 
dead kings are the Barotse or Marotse of the Upper 

Zambesi. The Barotse believe in a supreme god, the a supreme 
creator of all things, whom they call Niambe. He lives 
in the sun, and by his marriage with the moon begat the 
world, the animals, and last of all men. But the cunning 
and ferocity of his creature man terrified the beneficent 
creator, so that he fled from earth and escaped up the 
thread of a spider's web to heaven. There he still retains 
a certain power to interfere in human affairs, and that is 
why men sometimes pray and sacrifice to him. For 
example, the worshipper salutes the rising sun and offers 
him a vessel of water, no doubt tc quench the thirst of 
the deity on his hot journey across the sky. Again, when 
a long drought has prevailed, a black ox is sacrificed to 
Niambe " as a symbol of the clouds big with the longed-for 
rain.* And before they sow the fields, the women pile the 
seeds and their digging hoes in a heap, and pray to the god 
that he would render their labour fruitful. 8 

1 C. Gouldsbury and H. Sheane, op. cit. p. 84, 

Tfa Great Plateau of 'Northern Nigeria, * Eugene Beguin, La Ma-rto4 

p. 83. (Lausanne and Fontaines, 1903), pp. 

* C Gouldabury and H. Shcane, nS 


The Yet while they acknowledge the divine supremacy of 

worship of ffiambe, the Barotse address their prayers most frequently 
a^on^tS to the inferior deities, the ditino^ who are the deified kings 
Barotse ' of the country. The tombs of the departed monarchs may 
be seen near the villages which they inhabited in life. Each 
tomb stands in a grove of beautiful trees and is encircled by 
a tall palisade of pointed stakes, covered with fine mats, like 
the palisade which surrounds the royal residence of a living 
king. Such an enclosure is sacred ; the people are for- 
bidden to enter it lest they should disturb the ghost of him 
who sleeps below. But the inhabitants of the nearest village 
are charged with the duty of keeping the tomb and the en- 
closure in good order, repairing the palisade, and replacing 
the mats when they are worn out Once a month, at the 
new moon, the women sweep not only the grave and the 
enclosure but the whole village. The guardian of the tomb 
is at the same time a priest ; he acts as intermediary be- 
tween the god and the people who come to pray to the deity. 
He bears the title of Ngomboti ; he alone has the right to 
enter the sacred enclosure ; the profane multitude must stand 
at a respectful distance. Even the king himself, when he 
comes to consult one of his ancestors, is forbidden to set 
foot on the holy ground. In presence of the god, or, as 
they call him, the Master of the Tomb, the monarch must 
bear himself like a slave in the presence of his lord. He 
kneels down near the entrance, claps his hands, and gives 
the royal salute ; and from within the enclosure the priest 
solemnly returns the salute, just as the king himself, when 
he holds his court, returns the salute of his subjects. Then 
the suppliant, whether king or commoner, makes his petition 
to the deity and deposits his offering ; for no man may pray 
to the god with empty hands. Inside the enclosure, close 
to the entrance, is a hole which is supposed to serve as a 
channel of communication with the spirit of the deified king. 
In it the offerings are placed. Often they consist of milk 
which is poured into the hole; and the faster it drains 
away, the more favourably inclined is the god thought to be 
to the petitioner. More solid offerings, such as flesh, clothes, 
and glass beads, become the property of the priest after they 
have been allowed to lie for a decent time beside the sacred 


aperture of the tomb. The spirits of dead kings are thus 
consulted on matters of public concern as well as by private 
individuals touching their own affairs. If a war is to be 
waged, if a plague is raging among the people or a murrain 
among the cattle, if the land is parched with drought, in 
short, if any danger threatens or any calamity has afflicted 
the country, recourse is had to these local gods, dwelling 
each in his shady grove, not far from the abodes of the 
living. They are near, but the great god in heaven is far 
away. What wonder, therefore, that their help is often 
sought while he is neglected ? They are national heroes as 
well as gods ; their history is remembered ; men tell of the 
doughty deeds they did in their lifetime ; why should they 
not be able to succour their votaries now that they have put 
on immortality ? All over the country these temple-tombs 
may be seen. They serve as historical monuments to recall 
to the people the names of their former kings and the annals 
of their country. One of the most popular of the royal 
shrines is near Senanga at the southern end of the great 
plain of the Barotse. Voyagers who go down the Zambesi 
do not fail to pay their devotions at the shrine, that the god 
of the place may make their voyage to prosper and may 
guard the frail canoe from shipwreck in the rush and roar 
of the rapids ; and when they return in safety they repair 
again to the sacred spot to deposit a thank-offering for the 
protection of the deity. 1 

The foregoing examples suffice to prove that the worship Tims the 
of dead chiefs and kings has been an important, perhaps we */*JjJJ 
may even say, the most important element in the religion kings has 
of many African tribes. Regarded from the native point i ni j^^j t 
of view nothing could be more natural. The king rules element in 

^^f ^^ *T. 1 * * _ 

over his people in life ; and since all these tribes entertain O f many 
a firm and unquestioning belief not only in the existence 
but in the power of the spirits of the dead, they necessarily 
conclude that of all the departed spirits none can be so 
potent for good or evil, none therefore need to be propi- 
tiated so earnestly by prayer and sacrifice, as the souls of 
dead kings. Thus while every family worships privately the 

1 Eugene Bcguin, Les Ba-rotst, pp. 120-123. Compare ToUmism and 
Exogamy, iv. 306 sy . 


spirits of its own ancestors, the whole tribe worships publicly 
the spirits of its departed monarchs, paying to each of these 
invisible potentates, whose reality they never dream of 
doubting, a homage of precisely the same sort as that which 
they render to his living successor on the throne. Such a 
religion of the dead is by no means incompatible with the 
recognition of higher spiritual powers who may have an origin 
quite independent of the worship of ancestors. We have 
seen in point of fact that many tribes, whose practical re- 
ligion is concentrated chiefly on their dead, nevertheless 
acknowledge the existence of a supreme god, the creator of 
man and of all things, whom they do not regard as a 
glorified ghost. The Baganda, the most progressive and 
advanced of all the Bantu tribes, had a whole pantheon of 
gods whom they sharply distinguished from the worshipful 
spirits of their forefathers. 

perhaps Yet in spite of this distinction we may suspect that in many 

*??* cases the seeming line of division between gods and worshipful 
gods, Who ghosts is deceptive ; and that the magic touch of time, which 
5istin W distorts and magnifies the past, especially among peoples who 
gu&hed see it only through the haze of oral tradition, has glorified and 
rfsts transfigured many a dead man into a deity. This at all 
were once events seems to have been the history of some of the Baganda 
gods. On this subject our best authority says that " the 
principal gods appear to have been at one time human 
beings, noted for their skill and bravery, who were after- 
wards, deified by the people and invested with supernatural 
powers." l " Mukasa held the highest rank among the gods 
of Uganda. He was a benign god ; he never asked for the 
life of any human being, but animals were sacrificed to him 
at the yearly festivals, and also at other times when the 
king, or a leading chief, wished to consult him. He had 
nothing to do with war, but sought to heal the bodies and 
minds of men. He was the god of plenty ; he gave the 
people an increase of food, cattle, and children. From the 
legends still current it seems to be almost certain that he 
was a human being who, because of his benevolence, came 
to be regarded as a god. . , . The legends about Mukasa 
are of great interest ; they show how the human element 

1 Rev. J. Roscoe, Tlu Baganda (London, 1911)9 p. 271. 




has been lost in the divine, how the natural has been effaced 
by the supernatural, until, in the minds of the common 
people, only the supernatural remains." j 

If we cannot prove that the great god Mukasa himself The 
was once a man, we have very tangible evidence that his re u m ^ nso i 
brother the war-god Kibuka was so. For like the dead kings Kibuka, 
of Uganda, Kibuka was worshipped in a great conical hut go dofthe 
resembling the huts which living people inhabit : like them, Baganda. 
his spirit was supposed to enter from time to time into the 
body of his priest and to give oracles through him ; and like 
them he was represented in his temple by his personal relics, 
his jawbone and his navel-string, which were rescued from 
the ruins of his temple and now rest in the Ethnological 
Museum at Cambridge. In face of this complete parallelism 
between the god and the kings whose personal existence is 
not open to question, it seems difficult to doubt that Kibuka 
was once like them a real man, and that he spoke with the 
jawbone and made bodily use of the other corporeal organs 
which were preserved in his temple. 2 

These analogies lend some support to the theory that in Th ^^ is 
ancient Egypt, where the kings were worshipped by their that 
people both in life and death, Osiris may have been originally and 
nothing but one of these deified monarchs whose worship 5^ 
gradually eclipsed that of all the rest and ended by rivalling J| ^ 
or even surpassing that of the great sun-god himself. We O f Egypt, 
have seen that at Abydos, one of the principal centres of his gjjjjgj 
worship, the tomb of Osiris was identified with the tomb of with King 
King Khent, one of the earliest monarchs of the first Egyptian """ J 
dynasty, and that in this tomb were found a woman's richly 
jewelled arm and a human skull lacking the lower jawbone, 
which may well be the head of the king himself and the 
arm of his queen. The carved monument of Osiris which was 
found in the sepulchral chamber appears indeed to be a 

1 Rev. J. Roscoe, */. r#. pp. 290, 
291. In the worship of Mukasa " the 
principal ceremony was the annual 
festival, when the king sent his pre- 
sents to the god, to secure a blessing 
on the crops and on the people for the 
year M (J. Roscoe, op* cit p. 298), 

* Rev. J. Roscoe, " Kibuka, the 
VV God of the Baganda," Man, vii. 

rr. iv. VOL. ii 


pp. 301-308. Among the personal 
relics of Kibuka kept in his temple 
were his genital organs; these also 
were rescued when the Mohammedana 
burned down his temple in the civil 
wars of 1887-1890. They are now 
with the rest of the god's, or rather 
the man's, remains at Cambridge, 





work of late Egyptian art, but it may have replaced an earlier 
sarcophagus. Certainly we may reasonably suppose that the 
identification of the tomb of Osiris with the tomb of King 
Khent was very ancient ; for though the priests may have 
renewed the sculptured effigy of the dead god, they would 
hardly dare to shift the site of the Holy Sepulchre. 1 Now 
the sepulchre is distant about a mile and a half from the 
temple in which Osiris was worshipped as a god There is 
thus a curious coincidence, if there is nothing more, between 
the worship of Osiris and the worship of the dead kings of 
Uganda. As a dead king of Uganda was worshipped in a 
temple, while his headless body reposed at some distance in 
a royal tomb, and his head, without the lower jawbone, was 
buried by itself near the grave, so Osiris was worshipped 
in a temple not far from the royal tomb which tradition 
identified with his grave. Perhaps after all tradition 
was right. It is possible, though it would be very rash to 
affirm, that Osiris was no other than the historical King 
Khent of the first dynasty ; 2 that the skull found in the 
tomb is the skull of Osiris himself ; and that while it reposed 
in the grave the missing jawbone was preserved, like the 
jawbone of a dead king of Uganda, as a holy and perhaps 

1 This consideration is rightly urged 
by H. Schafer as a strong argument in 
favour of the antiquity of the tradition 
which associated the grave of Osiris 
with the grave of King Khent. See 
H. Schafer, Die Mysterien des Osiris 
in Abydos (Leipsic, 1904), pp. 28 


8 One of the commonest and oldest 

titles of Osiris was Ghent (Khent)- 
Ament or Chenti (Khenti)-Amenti, as 
the name is also written. It means 
Chief of those who are in the West " 
and refers to the Egyptian belief that 
the souls of the dead go westward. 
See R. V. Lanzone, Dizionario di 
Mitclogia Egizi&> p. 727 ; H. Brugsch, 
Religion, und Mythologu cUr alien 
Aegypter^ p. 617; A. Erman, Die 
agyptische Religion? pp. 23, 103 sq. ; 
J H. Breasted, Development of Re- 
tigien and Thought in Ancient Egypt* 
pp. 38, 143 (who spells the name 
Kbenti-Amentiu) ; E. A. Wallis Budge, 
Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection* 

i. 31 sq*+ 67. " Khenti-Amenti was 
one of the oldest gods of Abydos, and 
was certainly connected with the dead, 
being probably the ancient local god 
of the dead of Abydos and its neigbour- 
hood. Now, in the Pyramid Texts, 
which were written under the Vlth 
dynasty, there are several mentions of 
Khenti-Amenti, and in a large number 
of instances the name is preceded by 
that of Osiris. It is quite clear, there- 
fore, that the chief attributes of the one 
god must have resembled those of the 
other, and that Osiris Khenti-Amenti 
was assumed to have absorbed the 
powers of Khenti-Amenti. In the 
representations of the two gods which 
are found at Abydos there is usually 
no difference, at least not under the 
XVIIIth and XlXth dynasties" (E. A. 
Wallis Budge, op. cit. i. 31). How- 
ever, it would be unsafe to infer that 
the resemblance between the name of 
the god and the name of the king is 
more than accidental. 


oracular relic in the neighbouring temple. If that were so, 
we should be almost driven to conclude that the bejewelled 
woman's arm found in the tomb of Osiris is the arm of Isis, 

In support of the conclusion that the myth and religion Suggested 
of Osiris grew up round the revered memory of a dead man 

we may quote the words in which the historian of European Osiris and 
morals describes the necessity under which the popular 
imagination labours of embodying its cherished ideals in 
living persons. He is referring to the dawn of the age of 
chivalry, when in the morning twilight the heroic figure of 
Charlemagne rose like a bright star above the political 
horizon, to be thenceforth encircled by a halo of romance 
like the nimbus that shone round the head of Osiris. " In 
order that the tendencies I have described should acquire 
their full force, it was necessary that they should be repre- 
sented or illustrated in some great personage, who, by the 
splendour and the beauty of his career, could fascinate the 
imaginations of men. It is much easier to govern great 
masses of men through their imagination than through their 
reason. Moral principles rarely act powerfully upon the 
world, except by way of example or ideals. When the 
course of events has been to glorify the ascetic or mon- 
archical or military spirit, a great saint, or sovereign, or 
soldier will arise, who will concentrate in one dazzling focus 
the blind tendencies of his time, kindle the enthusiasm and 
fascinate the imagination of the people. But for the pre- 
vailing tendency, the great man would not have arisen, or 
would not have exercised his great influence. But for the 
great man, whose career appealed vividly to the imagina- 
tion, the prevailing tendency would never have acquired its 
full intensity." l 

Whether the parallel thus suggested between Charle- The 
magne, the mediaeval ideal of a Christian knight, and Osiris, 
the ancient Egyptian ideal of a just and beneficent monarch, historical 
holds good or not, it is now impossible to determine. For 'Q^ 
while Charlemagne stands near enough to allow us clearly left open. 
to discern his historical reality, Osiris is so remote that we 
can no longer discriminate with any certitude between the 

1 V* . E, H. Lecky, History tf Ckarkma&u> Third Edition (London, 
European Morals Jrom Augustus t* 1877), ii. 271. 


elements of history and fable which appear to have blended 
in his traditional character. I am content to indicate bare 
possibilities : dogmatism on such points would be in the 
highest degree rash and unbecoming. Whether Osiris and 
Isis were from first to last purely imaginary beings, the 
ideal creations of a primitive philosophy, or whether they 
were originally a real man and woman about whom after 
death the myth-making fancy wove its gossamer rainbow- 
tinted web, is a question to which I am not bold enough to 
give a decided answer. 



8 I. Dying Gods and Mourning Goddesses 

WE have now concluded our inquiry into the nature and Essential 
worship of the three Oriental deities Adonis, Attis, and 

Osiris. The substantial similarity of their mythical character Attis, and 
justifies us in treating of them together. All three appar- Os 
ently embodied the powers of fertility in general and of 
vegetation in particular. All three were believed to have 
died and risen again from the dead ; and the divine death 
and resurrection of all three were dramatically represented 
at annual festivals, which their worshippers celebrated with 
alternate transports of sorrow and joy, of weeping and 
exultation. The natural phenomena thus mythically con- 
ceived and mythically represented were the great changes of 
the seasons, especially the most striking and impressive 
of all, the decay and revival of vegetation ; and the inten- 
tion of the sacred dramas was to refresh and strengthen, by 
sympathetic magic, the failing energies of nature, in order 
that the trees should bear fruit, that the corn should ripen, 
that men and animals should reproduce their kinds. 

But the three gods did not stand by themselves. The 
mythical personification of nature, of which all three were 
in at least one aspect the products, required that each of associated 
them should be coupled with a goddess, and in each case it ^^^ 
r.ppears that originally the goddess was a more powerful Attis, and 
and important personage than the god. At all events it is p^^ to m 
always the god rather than the goddess who comes to a sad "J"*** ** 
end, and whose death is annually mourned. Thus, whereas 
Osiris was slain by Typhon, his divine spouse Isis stirvived 



and brought him to life again. This feature of the myth 
seems to indicate that in the beginning I sis was, what 
Astarte and Cybele always continued to be, the stronger 
divinity of the pair. Now the superiority thus assigned to 
the goddess over the god is most naturally explained as the 
result of a social system in which maternity counted for 
more than paternity, descent being traced and property 
handed down through women rather than through men. At 
all events this explanation cannot be deemed intrinsically 
improbable if we can show that the supposed cause has pro- 
duced the very same effect among existing peoples, about 
whose institutions we possess accurate information. This I 
will now endeavour to do. 

2. Influence of Mother-Kin on Religion 

Mother-Wn The social system which traces descent and transmits 

and father. p rO p er ty through the mother alone may be called mother- 

kin, while the converse system which traces descent and 

transmits property through the father alone may be called 

father-kin. 1 A good example of the influence which mother- 

The kin may exert on religion is furnished by the Khasis of Assam, 

Khasis of w h ose customs and beliefs have lately been carefully recorded 

L ccjtjnrt 

have by a British officer specially charged with the study of the 
Sn^d native races of the province. 2 Like the ancient Egyptians 
among and the Semites of Syria and Mesopotamia, the Khasis live 
g^desses in settled villages and maintain themselves chiefly by the 
predomin- cultivation of the ground ; yet " their social organization 
gods a^d presents one of the most perfect examples still surviving of 
priestesses m atriarchal institutions, carried out with a logic and thorough- 
ness which, to those accustomed to regard the status and 
authority of the father as the foundation of society, are 
exceedingly remarkable. Not only is the mother the head 
and source, and only bond of union, of the family : in the 
most primitive part of the hills, the Synteng country, she 
is the only owner of real property, and through her alone is 

1 I hate adopted the terms "mother- 8 The Kha$is> by Major P. R. T. 

kin * and** father-kin" as less ambigu- Gurdon, I. A., Deputy Commissioner 

ous than the terms "mother-right" Eastern Bengal and Assam Commission, 

and " father-right," which I formerly and Superintendent of Ethnography in 

employed in the sam sense. Assam (London, 1907). 


inheritance transmitted. 1 The father has no kinship with 
his children, who belong to their mother's clan ; what he 
earns goes to his own matriarchal stock, and at his death 
his bones are deposited in the cromlech of his mother's kin. 
In Jowai he neither lives nor eats in his wife's house, but 
visits it only after dark. In the veneration of ancestors, 
which is the foundation of the tribal piety, the primal 
ancestress (Ka Idwbet) and her brother are the only persons 
regarded. The flat memorial stones set up to perpetuate 
the memory of the dead are called after the woman who 
represents the clan (maw kynthei)> and the standing stones 
ranged behind them are dedicated to the male kinsmen on 
the mother's side. In harmony with this scheme of ancestor 
worship, the other spirits to whom propitiation is offered are 
mainly female, though here male personages also figure. 
The powers of sickness and death are all female, and these 
are those most frequently worshipped. The two protectors 
of the household are goddesses, though with them is also 
revered the first father of the clan, U Thdwlang. Priest- 
esses assist at all sacrifices, and the male officiants are 
only their deputies; in one important state, Khyrim, the 
High Priestess and actual head of the State is a woman, 
who combines in her person sacerdotal and regal func- 
tions." 2 Thus amongst the Khasis of the present day the 

1 "The Khasi saying is, longjaid 
na ka kynthei ' (from the woman sprang 
the clan). The Khasis, when reckon- 
ing descent, count from the mother 
only ; they speak of a family of brothers 
and sisters, who are the great grand- 
children of one great grandmother, as 
shi kpoh t which, being literally trans- 
lated, is one womb, i.e. the issue of 
one womb. The man is nobody" 
{P. R. T. Gurdon, The Khasis, p. 82), 
" All land acquired by inheritance must 
follow the Khasi law of entail, by which 
property descends from the mother to 
the youngest daughter, and again from 
the latter to her youngest daughter. 
Ancestral landed property must there- 
fore be always owned by women. The 
male members of the family may culti- 
vate such lands, but they must carry 
all the produce to the house of their 
mother, who will divide it amongst the 

members of the family " (op. cii. p. 88). 
"The rule amongst the Khasis is that 
the youngest daughter * holds' the 
religion, ' ka bat ka niam* Her house 
is called, < ka iing sengj and it is here 
that the members of the family assemble 
to witness her performance of the family 
ceremonies. Hers is, therefore, the 
largest share of the family property, 
because it is she whose duty it is to 
perform the family ceremonies, and 
propitiate the family ancestors'* (op. 
'**. p. 83). 

* Sir C. J. Lyall, in his Introduction 
to The Khasis, by Major P. R. T. 
Gurdon, pp. xxiii. sq. Sir C. J, Lyali 
himself lived for many years among 
the Khasis and studied their customs. 
For the details of the evidence on which 
his summary is based see especially pp. 
63 sqq. t 68 sq^ 76, 8a sqg., 88, 106 
109 sqq n 113 sq*, iai* 150, of 


superiority of the goddess to the god, and especially of 
the revered ancestress to the revered ancestor, is based 
directly on the social system which traces descent and 
transmits property through women only. It is not un- 
reasonable therefore to suppose that in Western Asia the 
superiority of the Mother Goddess to the Father God 
originated in the same archaic system of mother-kin. 

Another instance of the same cause producing the 
same effect may be drawn from the institutions of the 
Pelew Islanders, which have been described by an accurate 

Wft /^kt ^\ AV* 

kin, and observer long resident in the islands. These people, who 
the deities form a branch of the Micronesian stock, are divided into 

of their - r ... . . , 

clans are ail a series of exogamous families or clans with descent in 
goddesses, the female line, 1 so that, as usually happens under such a 
system, a man's heirs are not his own children but the 
children of his sister or of his maternal aunt 2 Every family 
or clan traces its descent from a woman, the common mother 
of the whole kin, 3 and accordingly the members of the clan 
worship a goddess, not a god. 4 These families or clans, with 
female descent and a worship of goddesses rather than of 
gods, are grouped together in villages, each village comprising 

Again, the 





Major Gurdon's book* As to the Khasi 
priestesses, see above, vol. i. p. 46. 

1 J. Kubary, Die socialen Einrich- 
tengen der Pdauer (Berlin, 1885), pp. 
35 $q+ The writer calls one of these 
kins indifferently a Familie or a 

1 J, S. Kubary, Die Todtenbestat- 
tung auf den Pelau-Inseln," Original* 
Mittkc&ungen aus der ethnologischen 
Abth&ilung der koniglieken Museen zu 
Berlin, L (Berlin, 1885) p. 7. 

* J. Kubary, Die socialen Einrick. 
tungen der Pelautr^ p. 40. 

J. Kubary, "Die Religion der 
Felauer," in A. Bastian's Allerlei aus 
r&l&s- vnd Menschenkunde (Berlin, 
1888), i. 20-22. The writer says that 
the family or clan gods of the Pelew 
Islanders are too many to be enumer- 
ated, but he gives as a specimen a list 
df the family deities of one particular 
^strict (Ngarapesang). Having done 
BO He observes that they are all god- 

desses, and he adds that "this is 
explained by the importance of the 
woman for the clan. The deity of the 
mother is inherited, that of the father 
is not " {op. cit. p. 22). As he says 
nothing to indicate that the family 
deities of this particular district are 
exceptional, we may infer, as I have 
done, that the deities of all the families 
or clans are goddesses. Yet a few 
pages previously (pp. 16 sq.) he tells us 
that a village which contains twenty 
families will have at least forty deities, 
if not more, "for some houses may 
have two kalids [deities], and every 
house has also a goddess. 9 ' This seems 
to imply that the families or clans have 
gods as well as goddesses. The seem- 
ing discrepancy is perhaps to be ex- 
plained by another statement of the 
writer that "in the family only the 
kalids [deities] of the women count" 
("rtVA geltend maeken," J. Kubary, 
Die socialen Einrichtungen derPtlautTj 

P- 38)- 


about a score of clans and forming with its lands a petty 
independent state. 1 Every such village-state has its special 
deity or deities, generally a god and a goddess. But these 
political deities of the villages are said to be directly derived 
from the domestic deities of the families or clans, 2 from 
which it seems to follow that among these people gods are 
historically later than goddesses and have been developed 
out of them. 8 The late origin of the gods as compared 
with the goddesses is further indicated by the nature of their 

names. 4 

This preference for goddesses over gods in the clans of This 
the Pelew Islanders has been explained, no doubt rightly, 
by the high importance of women in the social system of is to be 
the people. 5 For the existence of the clan depends entirely 

on the life of the women, not at all upon the life of the men. importance 

- , r of women 

If the women survive, it is no matter though every man of i n 

the clan should perish ; for the women will, as usual, marry 
men of another clan, and their offspring will inherit their STpeiew 
mother's clan, thereby prolonging its existence. Whereas 
if the women of the clan all die out, the clan necessarily 
becomes extinct, even though every man of it should sur- 
vive ; for the men must, as usual, marry women of another 
clan, and their offspring will inherit their mothers' clan, not 
the clan of their fathers, which accordingly, with the death 
of the fathers, is wiped out from the community. Hence in 
these islands women bear the titles of AdhalM a pel&> 
1 Mothers of the Land," and Adhaldl a blay, * Mothers of 
the Clan," and they are said to enjoy complete equality with 
the men in every respect* Indeed, in one passage our prin- 
cipal authority speaks of "the predominance of feminine 
influence in the social condition of the people," and asserts 
without qualification that the women are politically and 

1 J. Kubary, Die socialen Emrick- 
tungcn der Pefouer t pp, 33 sg*, 63 ; 
*, " Die Religion der Petaner,** in A. 
Bastian's Allcrlei aw Volks- and Men- 
sckcnkunde, L 16. 

* J. Kubary, " Die Religion der 
Pekuer," in A. Bastian's AlUrlei aus 
Volks- uad Menschenkundty i. 15*17, 
*2, 25-27. 

8 From the passages cited in the 

preceding note it appears that this was 
Kubary's opinion, though he has not 
stated it explicitly. 

4 J. Kubary, Die Religion der 
Pelauer," in A. Bastian's AlltrUi mt$ 
Volks- und Menscktnkundi) i 28 jy . 

A J. Kubary, Die seciaten Einrick- 
tungtn der Ptlauer, p. 38. See also 
above, p. 204, note 4 . 

J. Kubary, 


socially superior to the men, 1 The eldest women of the clan 
exercise, he tells us, the most decisive influence on the con- 
duct of its affairs, and the headman does nothing without 
full consultation with them, a consultation which in the great 
houses extends to affairs of state and foreign politics. 2 Nay 
these elder women are even esteemed and treated as equal 
to the deities in their lifetime. 3 

high But the high position which women thus take in Pelew 

societ y * s not a r ^sult of mother-kin only. It has an indus- 
the Pelew trial as well as a kinship basis. For the Pelew Islanders 
subsist mainly on the produce of their taro fields, and the 

industrial cultivation of this, their staple food, is the business of the 
they S aione women alone. " This cardinal branch of Pelew agriculture, 
cultivate which is of paramount importance for the subsistence of the 
the staple people, is left entirely in the hands of the women. This 
of fact may have contributed materially to the predominance 
of female influence in the social condition of the people. 
The women do not merely bestow life on the people, they 
also do that which is most essential for the preservation of 
life, and therefore they are called Adhaldl a pelu> the 
'Mothers of the Land/ and are politically and socially 
superior to men. Only their offspring enjoy the privilege of 
membership of the state (the children of the men are, strictly 
speaking, strangers destitute of rights), and the oldest women 
of the families are esteemed and treated as equal to deities 
even in their lifetime, and they exercise a decisive influence 
on the conduct of affairs of state. No chief would venture 
to come to a decision without first consulting with the 
Adhaldl a blay, the 'Mothers of the Family/ From this 
point of view it is impossible to regard the assignment 
of the taro cultivation to women as a consequence of 
their subordinate position in society : the women themselves 
do not so regard it The richest woman of the village looks 
with pride on her taro patch, and although she has female 
followers enough to allow her merely to superintend the 
work without taking part in it, she nevertheless prefers to 
lay aside her fine apron and to betake herself to the deep 

1 See the statement of Kubary tungen dtr Pelauer t pw 39. 

quoted in the next paragraph. 3 See the statement of Kubary quoted 

2 J. Kubary, Die socialen Einrich- in the next paragraph, 


mire, clad in a small apron that hardly hides her nakedness, 
with a little mat on her back to protect her from the 
burning heat of the sun, and with a shade of banana leaves 
for her eyes. There, dripping with sweat in the burning 
sun and coated with mud to the hips and over the elbows, 
she toils to set the younger women a good example. 
Moreover, as in every other occupation, the kaliths^ the gods, 
must also be invoked, and who could be better fitted for the 
discharge of so important a duty than the Mother of the 
House ? " x It seems clear that in any agricultural people 
who, like the Pelew Islanders, retain mother-kin and depute 
the labours of husbandry to women, the conception of a 
great Mother Goddess, the divine source of all fertility, 
might easily originate. Perhaps the same social and in- 
dustrial conditions may have combined to develop the great 
Mother Goddesses of Western Asia and Egypt. 

But in the Pelew Islands women have yet another road Both men 
to power. For some of them are reputed to be the wives of 
gods, and act as their oracular mouthpieces. Such prophet- 

esses are called Amlakeys, and no surprise is felt when one attain to 

of them is brought to bed. Her child passes for the offspring 
of the god, her divine husband, and goes about with his hair 
hanging loose in token of his superhuman parentage. It is i 
thought that no mortal man would dare to intrigue with one pieces of 
of these human wives of a god, since the jealous deity would tbe gods ' 
surely visit the rash culprit with deadly sickness and a 
lingering decline. 2 But in these islands men as well as 
women are 'often possessed by a deity and speak in his 
name. Under his inspiration they mimic, often with great 
histrionic skill, the particular appearance and manner which 
are believed to be characteristic of the indwelling divinity. 
These inspired men (Korongs) usually enjoy great considera- 
tion and exert a powerful influence over the whole community. 
They always acquire wealth in the exercise of their profession, 
When they are not themselves chiefs, they are treated as chiefs 
or even preferred to them. In not a few places the deity whom 

1 J S. Kubary, Ethnographische see & pp. 156 *$ 
Beitragt xur Kenntniss des Karolinm 

Artkipels (Leyden, 1895), p. 159. On * J. Kubsuy, "Die Religion <ier 

the importance of tbe taro or sweet Pelauer," in A. Bastion's AlltrUi ems 

potato as tbe staple food of the people, Volts- uttd Mtnsdunkundt, L 34. 

the Pelew 
Islands of 
and the 
and social 
state of 
Asia and 
Egypt in 


they personate is also the political head of the land ; and 
in that case his inspired priest, however humble his origin, 
ranks as a spiritual king and rules over all the chiefs. 
Indeed we are told that, with the physical and intellectual 
decay of the race, the power of the priests is more and more 
in the ascendant and threatens, if unchecked, to develop 
before long into an absolute theocracy which will swallow up 
every other form of government 1 

Thus the present, or at least the recent, state of society 
and religion in the Pelew Islands presents some interesting 
parallels to the social and religious condition of Western 
Asia and Egypt in early days, if the conclusions reached in 
this work are correct In both regions we see a 
society based on mother-kin developing a religion in which 
goddesses of the clan originally occupied the foremost 
place, though in later times, as the clans coalesced into states, 
the old goddesses have been rivalled and to some extent 
supplanted by the new male gods of the enlarged pantheon. 
But in the religion of the Pelew Islanders, as in that of the 
Khasis and the ancient Egyptians, the balance of power 
has never wholly shifted from the female to the male line, 
because society has never passed from mother-kin to father- 
kin. And in the Pelew Islands as in the ancient East we see 
the tide of political power running strongly in the direction of 
theocracy, the people resigning the conduct of affairs into 
the hands of men who claimed to rule them in the name 
of the gods. In the Pelew Islands such men might have 
developed into divine kings like those of Babylon and Egypt, 
if the natural course of evolution had not been cut short 
by the intervention of Europe. 8 

The evidence of the Khasis and the Pelew Islanders, two 
peoples very remote and very different from each other, 
suffices to prove that the influence which mother -kin 
may exert on religion is real and deep. But in order 

* J. Kubary, rHe Religion der 
Pelauer," in A. Bastkn's Alkrhi aits 
Volks- und M&nschenkunde, i, 30-35. 
The author wrote thus in the year 
1883, and his account of the Pelew 
religion was published in 1888, Corn- 
put his work Z)u socialen Einrich- 

tungen der Petauer, p. 8 1. Great 
changes have probably taken place in 
the islands since Kubary wrote. 

2 For some other parallels between 
the state of society and religion in 
these two regions, see Note IV, at the 
end of the volume. 


to dissipate misapprehensions, which appear to be rife Mother-kin 
on this subject, it may be well to remind or inform the ^^"that 
reader that the ancient and widespread custom of tracing the govern* 
descent and inheriting property through the mother ^"hands 
alone does not by any means imply that the government of women. 
of the tribes which observe the custom is in the hands of 
women ; in short, it should always be borne in mind that 
mother-kin does not mean mother-rule. On the contrary, 
the practice of mother- kin prevails most extensively 
amongst the lowest savages, with whom woman, instead of 
being the ruler of man, is always his drudge and often 
little better than his slave. Indeed, so far is the system 
from implying any social superiority of women that it 
probably took its rise from what we should regard as their 
deepest degradation, to wit, from a state of society in which 
the relations of the sexes were so loose and vague that 
children could not be fathered on any particular man. 1 

When we pass from the purely savage state to that The into* 
higher plane of culture in which the accumulation of pro- ^^m, 
perty, and especially of landed property, has become a especially 
powerful instrument of social and political influence, we property, 
naturally find that wherever the ancient preference for the famagh 

- , /. - , , .... . the mother 

female line of descent has been retained, it tends to increase certainly 

the importance and enhance the dignity of woman ; and her t5 ! 

aggrandizement is most marked in princely families, where social 
she either herself holds royal authority as well as private JJ 
property, or at least transmits them both to her consort or but this 
her children. But this social advance of women has never ^^^ 
been carried so far as to place men as a whole in a position carried so 
of political subordination to them. Even where the system 
of mother-kin in regard to descent and property has pre- * ** 

- j r 11 , . T ^ t it -r politically 

vailed most fully, the actual government has generally, if to women. 
not invariably, remained in the hands of men. Exceptions 
have no doubt occurred ; women have occasionally arisen 

1 Compare E. Stephan und F. membership implies, but that they have 

Graebner, Ntu-Meckknburg (Berlin, nothing at all to do with the higher or 

*97) P" IO 7 note l : " It is necessary lower position of women. Rather the 

always to repeat emphatically that the opposite might be affirmed, namely, 

terms fat her -right and mother- right that woman b generally more highly 

indicate simply and solely the group- esteemed in places where father-right 

membership of the individual and the prevails than in places where mother- 

systems of relationship which that right is the rule. 1 ' 


Thus while 
the Khasis 
and Pelew 
kin, they 

by men, 
not by 

who by sheer force of character have swayed for a time the 
destinies of their people. But such exceptions are rare and 
their effects transitory ; they do not affect the truth of the 
general rule that human society has been governed in the 
past and, human nature remaining the same, is likely to 
be governed in the future, mainly by masculine force and 
masculine intelligence. 

To this rule the Khasis, with their elaborate system of 
mother -kin, form no exception. For among them, while 
landed property is both transmitted through women and 
held by women alone, political power is transmitted indeed 
through women, but is held by men ; in other words, the 
Khasi tribes are, with a single exception, governed by kings, 
not by queens. And even in the one tribe, which is nominally 
ruled by women, the real power is delegated by the reigning 
queen or High Priestess to her son, her nephew, or a more 
distant male relation. In all the other tribes the kingship 
may be held by a woman only on the failure of all male 
heirs in the female line, 1 So far is mother-kin from im- 
plying mother-rule. A Khasi king inherits power in right 
of his mother, but he exercises it in his own. Similarly 
the Pelew Islanders, in spite of their system of mother- 
kin, are governed by chiefs, not by chieftainesses. It 
is true that there are chieftainesses, and that they 
indirectly exercise much influence ; but their direct 
authority is limited to the affairs of women, especially to 
the administration of the women's clubs or associations, which 

1 Major P. R. T. Gurdon, The by the eldest of his sisters' daughters ; 
pp. 66-71. The rule of failing such nieces, by the eldest of the 

daughters of his sisters' daughters; 
failing such grand-nieces, by the eldest 
of the daughters of his mother's sisters; 
and failing such first cousins, by the 
eldest of his female cousins on the 
female side, other than first cousins, 
those nearest in degree of relationship 
having prior claim. A female Sum 
would be succeeded by her eldest son, 
and so on" (op. cit. p. 71). The rule 
illustrates the logical precision with 
which the system of mother -kin is 
carried out by these people even when 
the intention is actually to exclude 

succession is as follows. A Stem, or 
king, "is succeeded by the eldest of 
his uterine brothers ; failing such 
brothers, by the eldest of his sisters* 
sons; failing such nephews, by the 
eldest of the sons of his sisters' 
daughters ; failing such grand-nephews, 
by the eldest of the sons of his mother's 
sisters ; and, failing such first cousins, 
by the eldest of his male cousins on 
the female side, other than first cousins, 
those nearest in degree of relationship 
having prior claim. If there were no 

heirs male, as above, he would be suc- 
ceeded by the eldest of his uterine women from power, 
utters ; in the absence of such sisters, 


answer to the clubs or associations of the men. 1 And 
to take another example, the Melanesians, like the Khasis 
and the Pelew Islanders, have the system of mother-kin, 
being similarly divided into exogamous clans with descent in 
the female line ; " but it must be understood that the 
mother is in no way the head of the family. The house of 
the family is the father's, the garden is his, the rule and 
government are his/ 1 2 

We may safely assume that the practice has been the The theory 
same among all the many peoples who have retained the ofa ^ nae< 
ancient system of mother-kin under a monarchical con- and of the 
stitution. In Africa, for example, the chieftainship or ^^ in ' 
kingship often descends in the female line, but it is men, the female 
not women, who inherit it. 8 The theory of a gynaecocracy j^n*" 
is in truth a dream of visionaries and pedants. And equally religion 
chimerical is the idea that the predominance of goddesses 
under a system of mother-kin like that of the Khasis is a 
creation of the female mind. If women ever created gods, 
they would be more likely to give them masculine than 
feminine features. In point of fact the great religious ideals 
which have permanently impressed themselves on the world 
seem always to have been a product of the male imagination. 
Men make gods and women worship them. The combina- 
tion of ancestor-worship with mother-kin furnishes a simple 
and sufficient explanation of the superiority of goddesses 
over gods in a state of society where these conditions prevail. 
Men naturally assign the first place in their devotions to 
the ancestress from whom they trace their descent We 
need not resort to a fantastic hypothesis of the preponderance 
of the feminine fancy in order to account for the facts. 

The theory that under a system of mother-kin the 
women rule the men and set up goddesses for them to 

1 J. Kubary, Die soeidien Einnck* 
tungen der Pelauer, pp. 35, 39 sff. t 
73-83. Sec also above, pp. 204 sg. 

* R. H. Codrington, TAe Melanes- 
ia*! (Oxford, 1891), p. 34. 

3 See A. H. Post, Afrikaniscke 

Jurisprudent (Oldenburg and Leipsic, 

1887), L 140 sg. Captain W. Gill 

reports that the Su-Mu, a Man-Tzii 

tribe in Southern China numbering 

some three and a half millions, is 
always ruled by a queen (The River ef 
Golden Sand, London, 1880, i. 365). 
But Capt. Gill was not nearer to 
the tribe than a six days' journey ; 
and even if his report is correct we 
may suppose that the real power is 
exercised by men, just as it is in the 
solitary Khasi tribe which is nominally 
governed by a woman. 


But worship is indeed so improbable in itself, and so contrary 

tea^iid 1 * to experience, that it scarcely deserves the serious attention 
fact, which which it appears to have received. 1 But when we have 
ha^e failed brushed aside these cobwebs, as we must do, we are still left 
to modify face to face with the solid fact of the wide prevalence of 

the religion , , . , . - . . , . , 

of the mother-kin, that is, of a social system which traces descent 
peoples and transmits property through women and not through 

who prac- ,, . -it 

tise it. men. 1 hat a social system so widely spread and so deeply 
rooted should have affected the religion of the peoples who 
practise it, may reasonably be inferred, especially when we 
remember that in primitive communities the social relations 
of the gods commonly reflect the social relations of their 
worshippers. How the system of mother-kin may mould 
religious ideas and customs, creating goddesses and assigning 
at least a nominal superiority to priestesses over priests, is 
shown with perfect lucidity by the example of the Khasis 
and hardly less clearly by the example of the Pelew Islanders. 
It cannot therefore be rash to hold that what the system has 
certainly done for these peoples, it may well have done for 
many more. But unfortunately through lack of documentary 
evidence we are seldom able to trace its influence so clearly, 

3. Mother-Kin and Mother Goddesses in the 

Ancient East 

Mothr- While the combination of mother-kin in society with a 

preference for goddesses in religion is to be found as a matter 

goddesses of fact among the Khasis and Pelew Islanders of to-day, the 
j^** former prevalence of mother-kin in the lands where the great 
goddesses Astarte and Cybele were worshipped is a matter 
of inference only. In later times father-kin had certainly 
displaced mother-kin among the Semitic worshippers of 
Astarte, and probably the same change had taken place 
among the Phrygian worshippers of Cybele. Yet the older 

1 The theory, or at all events the se&qft,viL (1904) pp. 70-94; his Cults y 

latter part of it, has been carefully the Greek States (Oxford, 1896-1909), 

examined by Dr. L. R. Farnell ; and iii 109 sgq. ; and Tke Hibbert Journal, 

if, as I apprehend, he rejects it, I April 1907, p. 690. But I differ from 

agree ^ with him. See his article him, it seems, in thinking that mother- 

*' Sociological Hypotheses concerning kin is favourable to the growth of 

the position of Women in Ancient mother goddesses. 
Religion, Arckxtfjur Iteligionswisstn- 




custom lingered in Lycia down to the historical period ; l 
and we may conjecture that in former times it was widely 
spread through Asia Minor. The secluded situation and 
rugged mountains of Lycia favoured the survival of a native 
language and of native institutions long after these had 
disappeared from the wide plains and fertile valleys which 
lay on the highroads of war and commerce. Lycia was to 
Asia Minor what the highlands of Wales and of Scotland 
have been to Britain, the last entrenchments where the old 
race stood at bay. And even among the Semites of antiquity, 
though father-kin finally prevailed in matters of descent and 
property, traces of an older system of mother-kin, with its 
looser sexual relations, appear to have long survived in the 
sphere of religion. At all events one of the most learned 
and acute of Semitic scholars adduced what he regarded as 
evidence sufficient to prove "that in old Arabian religion 
gods and goddesses often occurred in pairs, the goddess 
being the greater, so that the god cannot be her Baal, that 
the goddess is often a mother without being a wife, and the 
god her son, and that the progress of things was towards 
changing goddesses into gods or lowering them beneath the 
male deity." * 

In Egypt the archaic system of mother- kin, with its Mot 
preference for women over men in matters of property and |[|j)!L 
inheritance, lasted down to Roman times, and it was tradi- Egypt. 

1 The Lycians traced their descent 
through women, not through men; 
and among them it was the daughters, 
not the sons, who inherited the family 
property. See Herodotus, i. 174; 
Niculaus Damascenus, in Stobaeus, 
Flonlegium^ xliv. 41 {Fragnienta 
Hidoruorum Graecorum, ed. C. 
Miiller, iii. 461) ; Plutarch, De mutie- 
rum wrtutibuS) 9. An ancient his- 
torian even asserts that the Lycians 
were ruled by women (&c *raXcu<w 
yvwuKOKparowrratt Heraclides Ponticus, 
Frag. 15, in Fragnienta Historicerum 
Graceorum, ed. C. M tiller, ii. 217). 
Inscriptions found at Dalisandos, in 
Isauria, seem to prove that it was not 
unusual there to trace descent through 
the mother even in the third or the 
fourth century after Christ. See Sir 

PT. IV. VOL. n 

W* M. Ramsay, ** The Permanence of 
Religion at Holy Places in the East, 
The Expositor ; November 1906, p, 475, 
Dr. L. Messerschmidt seems to think 
that the Lycians were Hittites (The 
HittitcS) p. 20). Scholars are not 
agreed as to the family of speech to 
which the Lycian language belongs. 
Some think that it was an Indo- 
European tongue; hut this view if 
now abandoned by Professor Ed. Meyer 
(Gcschichtc des Alter turns *\, 2. p. 626)* 
1 W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and 
Marriage in Early Ara&ia* (London, 
1903), p. 306, The hypothesis of the 
former existence of mother-kin among 
the Semites is rejected by Professor 
Ed Meyer (Gesckiektt Jes Altcrtums? 
L 2, p. 360) and W. W. Graf Baudissin 
(Adonis wtd Esmttn^ pp. 46 *?.) 



tionally based on the example of Isis, who had avenged 
her husband's murder and had continued to reign after 
his decease, conferring benefits on mankind. " For these 
reasons/' says Diodorus Siculus, <f it was appointed that the 
queen should enjoy greater power and honour than the king, 
and that among private people the wife should rule over her 
husband, in the marriage contract the husband agreeing to 
obey his wife in all things." l A corollary of the superior 
position thus conceded to women in Egypt was that the 
obligation of maintaining parents in their old age rested on 
the daughters, not on the sons, of the family. 2 

Marriages The same legal superiority of women over men accounts 
with sisters f r ^ e raost remarkable feature in the social system of 

in ancient the ancient Egyptians, to wit, the marriage of full brothers 
with full sisters. That marriage, which to us seems strange 
and unnatural, was by no means a whim of the reigning 
Ptolemies ; on the contrary, these Macedonian conquerors 
appear, with characteristic prudence, to have borrowed the 
custom from their Egyptian predecessors for the express 
purpose of conciliating native prejudice. In the eyes of the 
Egyptians "marriage between brother and sister was the 
best of marriages, and it acquired an ineffable degree of 
sanctity when the brother and sister who contracted it were 
themselves born of a brother and sister, who had in their 
turn also sprung from a union of the same sort" 8 Nor did 
the principle apply only to gods and kings. The common 
people acted on it in their daily life. They regarded 
marriages between brothers and sisters as the most natural 
and reasonable of all. 4 The evidence of legal documents, 

1 Diodorus Siculus, L 27. I sq. granted important rights to women 

In spite of this express testimony to which it denied to men. On the 

the existence of a true gynaecocracy in position of women in ancient Egypt 

ancient Egypt, I am of opinion that see especially the able article of Miss 

the alleged superiority of the queen to Rachel Evelyn White (Mrs. Wedd), 

the king and of the wife to her husband " Women in Ptolemaic Egypt, n Journal 

must have been to a great extent only of Hellenic Studies, xviii. (1898) pp. 

nominal Certainly we know that it 238-256. 

was the king and not the queen who a Herodotus, il 35. 

really governed the countiyj and we , _. 

cat* hardly doubt that in like manner % f Sur *?. Maspero, quoted by 

it was for the most part the husband Mlss R - ^ v**** # ** P- 2 44- 

aad not the wife who really ruled the * J. Nieteold, Du Eke in Hgyften 

bouse, though unquestionably in regard gttr ptolemaisch-romischen Zeit (Leip- 

to property the law seems to have *ic, 1903), p. 12. 


including marriage contracts, tends to prove that such 
unions were the rule, not the exception, in ancient Egypt, 
and that they continued to form the majority of marriages 
long after the Romans had obtained a firm footing in the 
country. As we cannot suppose that Roman influence 
was used to promote a custom which must have been 
abhorrent to Roman instincts, we may safely assume that 
the proportion of brother and sister marriages in Egypt 
had been still greater in the days when the country was 
free, 1 

It would doubtless be a mistake to treat these marriages Such 
as a relic of savagery, as a survival of a tribal communism mai 

were OSISCQ 

which knew no bar to the intercourse of the sexes. For on a wish 
such a theory would not explain why union with a sister Sj^Sfil 
was not only allowed, but preferred to all others. The true the family. 
motive of that preference was most probably the wish of 
brothers to obtain for their own use the family property, 
which belonged of right to their sisters, and which otherwise 
they would have seen in the enjoyment of strangers, the 
husbands of their sisters. This is the system which in 
Ceylon is known as beena marriage. Under it the daughter, 
not the son, is the heir. She stays at home, and her husband 
comes and lives with her in the house ; but her brother goes 
away and dwells in his wife's home, inheriting nothing from 
his parents. 2 Such a system could not fail in time to prove 
irksome. Men would be loth to quit the old home, resign 
the ancestral property to a stranger, and go out to seek 
their fortune empty-handed in the world. The remedy was 
obvious. A man had nothing to do but to marry his sister 
himself instead of handing her over to another. Having 
done so he stayed at home and enjoyed the family estate in 
virtue of his marriage with the heiress. This simple and 
perfectly effective expedient for keeping the property in the 

1 A. Erman, Agyttn und agyp- * J.F. McLennan, 

tiuhts Ltb&t iatAltertum, pp. 221 ;?.; History (London, 1886), pp. IOI 

U. Wilckcn, " Arsinoitische Steuer- Among the Kocchs of North- Eastern 

professionen aus dem Jahre 189 n. India "the property of the husband is 

Chr.," Sitsungsbtrickte der konig* made over to the wife ; when she dies 

Preuss. Akadtmie der WisscnschafUn it goes to her daughters, and when be 

xu Berlin^ 1883, p. 903 ; J. Nietzold, marries he lives with his wife's mother** 

Die Eke m A&pten ntr ptoUmiasck- (R. G. Latham, Dtscripttx* Etknvlegy* 

romisckc* 2nt, pp. 13-14. London, 1859, i. 96). 


family most probably explains the custom of brother and 

sister marriage in Egypt. 1 

Thus the Thus the union of Osiris with his sister Isis was not a 

SS^tf freak of the story-teller's fancy : it reflected a social custom 
Osiris with which was itself based on practical considerations of the 

solid kind. When we reflect that this practice of 

reflected a mother-kin as opposed to father-kin survived down to 
the latest times of antiquity, not in an obscure and bar- 
barous tribe, but in a nation whose immemorial civilization 
was its glory and the wonder of the world, we may without 
being extravagant suppose that a similar practice formerly 
prevailed in Syria and Phrygia, and that it accounts for 
the superiority of the goddess over the god in the divine 
partnerships of Adonis and Astarte, of Attis and Cybele. 
But the ancient system both of society and of religion 
had undergone far more change in these countries than 
in Egypt, where to the last the main outlines of the old 
structure could be traced in the national institutions to 
which the Egyptians clung with a passionate, a fanatical 
devotion. Mother-kin, the divinity of kings and queens, a 
sense of the original connexion of the gods with nature 
these things outlived the Persian, the Macedonian, the Roman 
conquest, and only perished under the more powerful solvent 
of Christianity. But the old order did not vanish at once 
with the official establishment of the new religion. In the 
age of Constantine the Greeks of Egypt still attributed the 
of the Nile to Serapis, the later form of Osiris, alleging 

of the University of Cambridge (Cam- 
bridge, 1906), pp. 154 sq. I under- 
stand from Professor W. M. Flinders 
Petrie that the theory has been a 
commonplace with Egyptologists lor 
many years. McLennan explained the 
marriage of brothers and sisters in 
royal families as an expedient for shift- 
ing the succession from the female to 
the male line ; bat he did not extend 
the theory so as to explain similar mar- 
riages among common people in Egypt, 
perhaps because he was not aware of 
the fccts. See J. F. McLennan, Tki 
Patriarchal Theory y edited and com- 
pleted by D McLennan 

P. 95- 

of the 
old world 
b Egypt. 

1 This is in substance the explana- 
tion which Miss Rachel Evelyn White 
(Mrs. Wedd) gives of the Egyptian 
eastern. See her paper, " Women in 
Ptolemaic Egypt," Journal cf ffelltnu 

Mr. J, NietzoH observes that ** econo- 
mical considerations, especially in the 
case of great landowners, may often hare 
been the occasion of marriages with 
esters, the intention being in this way 
to avoid a division of the property 1 * 
EJu in Jt&pttn, p, 13). The 
explanation of the custom has 
bees given hy Pro W. Ridgeway. 
See his "SttppHccs of Aeschylus," in 
deiweptd fa&rt iks fattat* 

^^^ r ^"^ n ^ r ^^ ^f^^ ^^Sf^^* 1 ^ -wi^^^^ fh^^PT^^MW 


that the inundation " could not take place if the standard 
cubit, which was used to measure it, were not deposited 
according to custom in the temple of the god. The emperor 
ordered the cubit to be transferred to a church ; and next 
year, to the general surprise, the river rose just as usual. 1 
Even at a later time Athanasius himself had to confess with 
sorrow and indignation that under his own eyes the Egyptians 
still annually mourned the death of Osiris. 8 The end came 
with the destruction of the great Serapeum at Alexandria, 
the last stronghold of the heathen in Egypt. It perished in 
a furious and bloody sedition, in which Christians and pagans 
seem to have vied with each other in mutual atrocities. 
After its fall the temples were levelled with the ground or 
converted into churches, and the images of the old gods 
went to the melting-pot to be converted into base uses for 
the rabble of Alexandria. 8 

The singular tenacity with which the Egyptian people Egyptian 
maintained their traditional beliefs and customs for thousands 

of years sprang no doubt from the stubborn conservatism an effect d 
of the national character. Yet that conservatism was itself 
in great measure an effect of geographical and climatic 
conditions and of the ways of life which they favoured. 
Surrounded on every side by deserts or almost harbourless 
seas, the Egyptians occupied a position of great natural 
strength which for long ages together protected them from 
invasion and allowed their native habits to set and harden, 
undisturbed by the subversive influence of foreign conquest 
The wonderful regularity of nature in Egypt also conduced 
to a corresponding stability in the minds of the people. 
Year in, year out, the immutable succession of the seasons 
brought with it the same unvarying round of agricultural 
toil. What the fathers had done, the sons did in the 
same manner at the same season, and so it went on from 

1 Socrates, Historic Etcksiastita t i 10 (Mignc's Petrv&gtA Grwea, xxv. 

18 (Migne's Patrologia Gra&a, bcvii. 24), 

12 1). The learned Valesius, in his * Socrates, Historic Ecchsiastica.^ T. 

note on this passage, informs us that 16 sg. {Migne's Patrolegia Graec^ 

the cubit was again transferred by the Ixvii. 604 ^.); Soromerms, Histeri* 

Fmperor Julian to the Serapeam, where EttUsiaslua^ vii. 15 (M%ae*s Ftoti*** 

k was left in peace till the destruction hgia Graeca, Ixvii 1152 jf.J. These 

of that temple. events took place trader the Emperor 

* Athanasius, Oratio contra Gattes, Theodosius in the year 391 

The old 
type of 
than those 
of Adonis 
and Attis. 


generation to generation. This monotonous routine is 
common indeed to all purely agricultural communities, and 
everywhere tends to beget in the husbandman a settled 
phlegmatic habit of mind very different from the mobility, 
the alertness, the pliability of character which the hazards 
and uncertainties of commerce and the sea foster in the 
merchant and the sailor. The saturnine temperament of 
the farmer is as naturally averse to change as the more 
mercurial spirit of the trader and the seaman is predisposed 
to it. But the stereotyping of ideas and of customs was 
carried further in Egypt than in most lands devoted to 
husbandry by reason of the greater uniformity of the 
Egyptian seasons and the more complete isolation of 
the country. 

The general effect of these causes was to create a type 
of national character which presented many points of re- 
semblance to that of the Chinese. In both we see the same 
inflexible strength of will, the same astonishing industry, the 
same strange blend of humanity and savagery, the same 
obstinate adherence to tradition, the same pride of race and 
of ancient civilization, the same contempt for foreigners as 
for upstarts and barbarians, the same patient outward sub- 
mission to an alien rule combined with an unshakeable 
inward devotion to native ideals. It was this conservative 
temper of the people, bred in great measure of the physical 
nature of their land, which, so to say, embalmed the memory 
of Osiris long after the corresponding figures of Adonis 
and Attis had suffered decay. For while Egypt enjoyed 
profound repose, the tides of war and conquest, of traffic 
and commerce, had for centuries rolled over Western Asia, 
the native home of Adonis and Attis ; and if the shock 
of nationalities in this great meeting-ground of East and 
West was favourable to the rise of new faiths and new 
moralities, it was in the same measure unfavourable to the 
preservation of the old 



I CANNOT leave the evidence for the sacred character of Jewish 
kings 1 without mentioning a suggestion which was made to me by 
my friend and teacher the Rev. Professor R, H. Kennett He 
thinks that Moloch, to whom first-born children were burnt by their 
parents in the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of Jerusalem,* 
may have been originally the human king regarded as an incarnate 
deity, Certainly the name of Moloch, or rather Molech (for so it 
is always written in the Massoretic text 8 ), is merely a slightly dis- 

the laws is abundant and unambiguous 
that the victims were slain and burnt 
as a holocaust" (G. F. Moore, in 
Ewyctepaedia Bibluc^ iil 3184). 
Similarly Principal J. Skinner trans- 
lates the phrase in 2 Kings xvL 3 by 
** dedicated his son by fire," and re- 
marks that the expression, " whatever 
its primary sense may be, undoubtedly 
denoted actual burning" (commentary 
on Kings in The Century BibU}. 
The practice would seem to have been 
very ancient at Jerusalem, for tradition 
placed the attempted burnt-sacrifice of 
Isaac by his father Abraham on Mcmnt 
Morkh, which was no other than 
Mount Zion, the site of the king's 
palace and of the temple of Jehovah. 
See Genesis xxii. 1-18 ; z Chronicles 



the human 



as an 



1 See above, voL i. pp. 17 
* Tkf Dying G&di pp. 168 
G. F. Moore, in Encyclopaedia Biblica, 
s.v. " Molech." The phrase trans- 
lated ** make pass through the fire to 
Molech" (2 Kings xxiii. 10) means 
properly, Professor Kennett tells me, 
**make to pass over by means of fire 
to Molech," where the verb has the 
sense of *' make over to," " dedicate," 
"devote,** as appears from its use in 
Exodus xiiL 12 ("set apart, w English 
Version) and Ezekiel xx. 26. That 
the children were not made simply to 
pass through the Ere, but were burned 
in it, is shown by a comparison of 2 
Kings xvL 3, acxiit 10, Jeremiah 
xxxiL 35, with 2 Chronicles xxviii. 3, 
Jeremiah viL 31, xix. 5. As to the 
use of the verb vnjrn in the sense of 
* dedicate,** "devote," see G. F. 
Moore, s.v. " Mokch,* Encycbptwii* 
B&tua* Si 3184; F, Brown, S. R, 
Driver, and C A. Briggs, Htkr&e 
a*d English Lexictm of tkt Old Testa- 
ment (Oxford, 1906), p, 718. *'The 
testimony of both die prophets and 

iii. I ; 

legit (Freiburg i. Baden and Lcipsic, 

1894), pp, 45, 233 ; T. K, Cheyne, 

s,v. << Morkh," Encyclopaedia 

iii 3200 J#. 

2 Leviticus xviii. 2t 

Kings xi. 7; 2 Kings rxra, lot 





been in- 
tended to 



guised form of mekch> the ordinary Hebrew word for " king," the 
scribes having apparently given the dreadful word the vowels of 
bosheth, " shameful thing." l But it seems clear that in historical 
times the Jews who offered these sacrifices identified Molech, not 
with the human king, but with Jehovah, though the prophets 
protested against the custom as an outrage on the divine 

If, however, these sacrifices were originally offered to or in behalf 
sacrifices to o f the human king, it is possible that they were intended to 
nmyhave P r l n g h* s Kfe an< ^ strengthen his hands for the performance of 
those magical functions which he was expected to discharge for the 
good of his people. The old kings of Sweden answered with their 
heads for the fertility of the ground, 8 and we read that one of them, 
Aun or On by name, sacrificed nine of his sons to Odin at Upsala 
in order that his own life might be spared. After the sacrifice of 
his second son he received from the god an oracle that he should 
in Sweden, live as long as he gave him one of his sons every tenth year. When 
ff'^and he had thus sacrificed seven sons, the ruthless father still lived, but 
was so feeble that he could no longer walk and had to be carried 
in a chair. Then he offered up his eighth son and lived ten years 
more, bedridden. After that he sacrificed his ninth son, and lived 
ten years more, drinking out of a horn like a weaned child. He 
now wished to sacrifice his last remaining son to Odin, but the 
Swedes would not let him, so he died and was buried in a mound 
at Upsala. 4 In this Swedish tradition the king's children seem 
to have been looked upon as substitutes offered to the god in 
place of their father, and apparently this was also the current explana- 
tion of the slaughter of the first-born in the later times of Israel 6 
On that view the sacrifices were vicarious, and therefore purely 
religious, being intended to propitiate a stern and exacting deity. 
Similarly we read that when Amestris, wife of Xerxes, was grown 
dd, she sacrificed on her behalf twice seven noble children to the 

1 W. Robertson Smith, The Re~ 
ligion sfthe Semites* p. 372, note \ 

s ** It is plain, from various passages 
of the prophets, that the sacrifices of 
children among the Jews before the 
captivity, which are commonly known 
as sacrifices to Moloch, were regarded 
by the worshippers as oblations to 
Jehovah, tinder the title of king" 
(W. Robertson Smith, Religion of the 

***** P- 372* referring to Jeremiah 

31, xix. 5, xxxiL 35; Erekiel 

. 391 Micah vi 7). The same 
itew is taken by ProC G. F, MOCOT, 
fa Encyclopaedia Bibiica, s.v. " Mo- 

eV **& 81. 3187 * 
1 tte Magic Art and the Evolution 

L 366 

"Ynglinga Saga," 29, m Tk* 
Hcimskringla or Chronicle of the Kings 
of Norway ; translated by S. Laing 
(London, 1844), L 239 sq. ; H. M. 
Chadwick, The Cult of Othin (London, 
i$99) PP- 4 27 ; The Dying God, 
pp. 160 sq. Similarly in Peru, when 
a person of note was sick, he would 
sometimes sacrifice his son to the idol 
in older that his own life might be 
spared. See A. de Herrera, The 
General History of the Vast Continent 
and Islands of America* translated by 
Capt. J. Stevens (London, 1725* 
1726), iv. 347 *? 
* Micah vi 6-S. 


earth god by burying them alive 1 If the story is true and it rests 
on the authority of Herodotus, a nearly contemporary witness we 
may surmise that the aged queen acted thus with an eye to the 
future rather than to the past; she hoped that the grim god of 
the nether-world would accept the young victims in her stead, and 
let her live for many years. The same idea of vicarious suffering 
comes out in a tradition told of a certain Hova king of Madagascar, 
who bore the sonorous name of Andriamasinavalona, When he had 
grown sickly and feeble, the oracle was consulted as to the best way 
of restoring him to health. "The following result was the con- 
sequence of the directions of the oracle. A speech was first delivered 
to the people, offering great honours and rewards to the family of 
any individual who would freely offer himself to be sacrificed, in 
order to the king's recovery. The people shuddered at the idea, 
and ran away in different directions. One man, however, presented 
himself for the purpose, and his offer was accepted, The sacrificer 
girded up his loins, sharpened his knife, and bound the victim. 
After which, he was laid down with his head towards the east, upon 
a mat spread for the purpose, according to the custom with animals 
on such occasions, when the priest appeared, to proceed with all 
solemnity in slaughtering the victim by cutting his throat A 
quantity of red liquid, however, which had been prepared from a 
native dye, was spilled in the ceremony; and, to the amazement 
of those who looked on, blood seemed to be flowing all around. The 
man, as might be supposed, was unhurt ; but the king rewarded him 
and his descendants with the perpetual privilege of exemption from 
capital punishment for any violation of the laws. The descendants 
of the man to this day form a particular class, called Tay maty 
manota, which may be translated, ' Not dead, though transgressing.' 
Instances frequently occur, of individuals of this class appropriating 
bullocks, rice, and other things belonging to the sovereign, as if 
they were their own, and escaping merely with a reprimand, while 
a common person would have to suffer death, or be reduced to 

slavery. 11 * 

Sometimes, however, the practices intended to prolong the king's other 
life seem to rest on a theory of nutrition rather than of substitution : r ^ oes ** 


in other words, the life of the victims, instead of being offered ^^^f 
vicariously to a god, is apparently supposed to pass directly into the life appear 
body of the sacrificer, thus .refreshing his failing strength and pro- 
longing his existence. So regarded, the custom is magical rather 
than religious in character, since the desired effect is thought to 
follow directly without the intervention of a deity. At all events, it 
can be shown that sacrifices of this sort have been offered to prolong 
the life of kings in other parts of the world Thus in regard to 

1 Herodotus, viL 114; Plutarch, * W. Effis, Hi&oy <f Madagascar 
Dt wperstititme^ 13. (London, N.D,), L 544 sq. 




Custom in some of the negroes who inhabit the delta of the Niger we read 
that : " A custom which formerly was practised by the Ibani, and is 
still prevalent among all the interior tribes, consists in prolonging 
the life of a king or ancestral representative by the daily, or possibly 
weekly, sacrifice of a chicken and egg. Every morning, as soon as 
the patriarch has risen from his bed, the sacrificial articles are pro- 
cured either by his mother, head wife, or eldest daughter, and given 
to the priest, who receives them on the open space in front of the 
house. When this has been reported to the patriarch, he comes 
outside and, sitting down, joins in the ceremony. Taking the 
chicken in his hand, the priest first of all touches the patriarchs 
face with it, and afterwards passes it over the whole of his body. 
He then cuts its throat and allows the blood to drop on the ground. 
Mixing the blood and the earth into a paste, he rubs it on the old 
man's forehead and breast, and this is not to be washed off under 
any circumstances until the evening. The chicken and the egg^ 
also a piece of white cloth, are now tied on to a stick, which, if a 
stream is in the near vicinity, is planted in the ground at the water- 
side. During the carriage of these articles to the place in question, 
all the wives and many members of the household accompany the 
priest, invoking the deity as they go to prolong their father's life. 
This is done in the firm conviction that through the sacrifice of 
jeach chicken his life will be accordingly prolonged." 1 

The ceremony thus described is, like so many other rites, a 
combination of magic and religion \ for whereas the prayers to the 
god are religious, the passing of the victim over the king's body and 
the smearing of him with its blood are magical, being plainly in- 
tended to convey to him directly, without the mediation of any 
deity, the life of the fowl. In the following instances the practices 
for prolonging the king's life seem to be purely magical. Among 

?J??I the Zulus, at one of the annual feasts of first-fruits, a bull is killed 
zilteaBd ky a particular regiment In slaughtering the beast they may not 
to use spears or sticks, but must break its neck or choke it with their 
bare hands. " It is then burned, and the strength of the bull is 
supposed to enter into the king, thereby prolonging his life." 2 Again, 
in an early Portuguese historian we read of a Caffre king of East 
Africa that "it is related of this Monomotapa that he has a house 
where he commands bodies of men who have died at the hands of 
the law to be hung up, and where thus hanging all the humidity 

1 Major A. G. Leonard, The Lower 
Niger and Us Tribes (London, 1906), 

* IX Leslie, Among tkt Zuhts and 
Amatongas* (EdfakBigm, 1875$, p. 91. 
TVis sacrifice may be the one described 
by J. Sbocter t The Kafirs ef 

(London, 1857), p. 26. The reaso 
for not stabbing the animal is perhaps 
a wish not to lose any of the blood, 
but to convey its life intact to the 
king. The same reason would ex- 
plain the same rule which the Bagaudt 
observed in killing a human victim for 
the same propose (see below, p. 224)- 


of their bodies falls into vases placed underneath, and when all 
has dropped from them and they shrink and dry up he commands 
them to be taken down and buried, and with the fat and moisture 
in the vases they say he makes ointments with which he anoints 
himself in order to enjoy long life which is his belief and also to 
be proof against receiving harm from sorcerers." 1 

The Baganda of Central Africa used to kill men on various Customs 
occasions for the purpose of prolonging the king's life ; in all cases 
it would seem to be thought that the life of the xnurdered man 
was in some mysterious fashion transferred to the king so that 10 prolong 

the monarch received thereby a fresh accession of vital energy, 
For example, whenever a particular royal drum had a new skin 
put on it, not only was a cow killed to furnish the skin and its 
blood run into the drum, but a man was beheaded and the spouting Human 
blood from the severed neck was allowed to gush into the drum, 
" so that, when the drum was beaten, it was supposed to add fresh 
life and vigour to the king from the life of the slain man/' * invigorate 
Again, at the coronation of a new king, a royal chamberlain was *** kin ** 
chosen to take charge of the king's inner court and to guard his 
wives. From the royal presence the chamberlain was conducted, 
along with eight captives, to one of the human shambles; there 
he was blindfolded while seven of the men were clubbed to death, 
only the dull thud and crashing sound telling him of what was 
taking place. But when the seven had been thus despatched, 
the bandages were removed from the chamberlain's eyes and he 
witnessed the death of the eighth. As each man was killed, his 
belly was ripped open and his bowels pulled oat and hung round 
the chamberlain's neck. These deaths were said to add to the 
King's vigour and to make the chamberlain strong and faithful* 
Nor were these the only human sacrifices offered at a king's 
coronation for the purpose of strengthening the new monarch. 
When the king had reigned two or three months, he was expected 
to hunt first a leopard and then a bushbuck. On the night after 
the hunt of the bushbuck, one of the ministers of State caught 
a man and brought him before the king in the dark ; the king 
speared him slightly, then the man was strangled and the body 
thrown into a papyrus swamp, that it might never be found again, 
Another ceremony performed about this time to confirm the king 
in his kingdom was to catch a man, bind him, and bring him 
before the king, who wounded him slightly with a spear. Then 
the man was put to death. These men were killed to invigorate 
the king. 4 

* J. Dos Santos, Eastern Ethiopia, (London, 1911), pp. 27 sy. 
bk. n. chap. 16 (G. M'Call Tbeal's ' Rev. J. Roscoe, Tkt 

Records ef Scutk-Eastem Africa^ vii p. 200, 
289). * Rer. J. Roscoc, Tkt 

J. Roscoc, The Ba&rnda pp. 209 j 


Chiefs son When a king of Uganda had reigned some time, apparently 
kille( ? to several years, a ceremony was performed for the sake of prolonging 
ktog'Jith 6 his life - For this P ur Pse the king paid a visit a fatal visit--- 
ankiets. to a chief of the Lung-fish clan, who bore the title of Nankere 
and resided in the district of Busiro, where the tombs and temples 
of the kings were situated. When the time for the ceremony had 
been appointed, the chief chose one of his own sons, who was 
to die that the king might live. If the chief had no son, a near 
relation was compelled to serve as a substitute. The hapless youth 
was fed and clothed and treated in all respects like a prince, 
and taken to live in a particular house near the place where the 
king was to lodge for the ceremony. When the destined victim 
had been feasted and guarded for a month, the king set out 00 
his progress from the capital. On the way he stopped at the 
temple of the great god Mukasa ; there he changed his garments, 
leaving behind him in the temple those which he had been wearing. 
Also he left behind him all his anklets, and did not put on any 
fresh ones, for he was shortly to receive new anklets of a remark- 
able kind. When the king arrived at his destination, the chief 
met him, and the two exchanged a gourd of beer. At this inter- 
view the king's mother was present to see her son for the last 
time; for from that moment the two were never allowed to look 
upon each other again. The chief addressed the king's mother 
informing her of this final separation ; then turning to the king 
he said, " You are now of age ; go and live longer than your 
forefathers." Then the chief's son was introduced. The chief 
took him by the hand and presented him to the king, who 
passed him on to the body-guard; they led him outside and 
killed him by beating him with their clenched fists. The muscles 
from the back of the body of the murdered youth were removed 
and made into two anklets for the king, and a strip of skin 
cut from the corpse was made into a whip, which was kept 
in the royal enclosure for special feasts. The dead body was 
thrown on waste land and guarded against wild beasts, but not 
buried. 1 

The king's When that ceremony was over, the king departed to go to 
another chief in Busiro; but on the way thither he stopped at 
a place called Baka and sat down under a great tree to play a 
game of spinning fruit-stones. It is a children's game, but it was 
no child's pky to the man who ran to fetch the fruit-stones for 
the king to play with ; for he was caught and speared to death 
on the spot for the purpose of prolonging the king's life. After 
t&e game had been pkyed the king with his train passed on and 
lodged with a certain princess till the anklets made from the 
musdes of the chief s murdered son were ready for him to wear ; 

1 Rev. J. Roscoc, The Baganda, pp. 210 Sf. 


it was the princess who had to superintend the making of these 
royal ornaments. 1 

When all these ceremonies were over, the king made a great The whip 
feast At this feast a priest went about carrying under his mantle *>" 
the 'whip that had been made from the skin of the murdered akilL 
young man. As he passed through the crowd of merrymakers, 
he would flick a man here and there with the whip, and it was 
believed that the man on whom the lash lighted would be child- 
less and might die, unless he made an offering of either nine or 
ninety cowrie shells to the priest who had struck him. Naturally 
he hastened to procure the shells and take them to the striker, 
who, on receiving them, struck the man on the shoulder with his 
hand, thus restoring to him the generative powers of which the 
blow of the whip had deprived him. At the end of the feast 
the drummers removed all the drums but one, which they left 
as if they had forgotten it. Somebody in the crowd would 
notice the apparent oversight and run after the drummers with 
the drum, saying " You have left one behind." The thanks he 
received was that he was caught and killed and the bones of his 
upper arm made into drumsticks for that particular drum. The 
drum was never afterwards brought out during the whole of the 
king's reign, but was kept covered up till the time came to bring 
it out on the corresponding feast of his successor. Yet from time 
to time the priest, who had flicked the revellers with the whip 
of human skin, would dress himself up in a mantle of cow-hide 
from neck to foot, and concealing the drumstick of human bones 
under his robe would go into the king's presence, and suddenly 
whipping out the bones from his bosom would brandish them 
hi the king's face. Then he would as suddenly hide them again, 
but only to repeat the manoeuvre* After that he retired and 
restored the bones to their usual place. They were decorated 
with cowrie shells and little bells, which jingled as he shook them 
at the king.* 

The precise meaning of these latter ceremonies is obscure \ but Mode* IB 
we may suppose that just as the human blood poured into a drum wMdl * 
was thought to pass into the king's veins in the booming notes of ^^ff 
the drum, so the clicking of the human bones aod the jingling of victim^ 
their bells were supposed to infuse into the royal person the vigour <kc*&4 to 
of the murdered man. The purpose of flicking commoners with the S 
whip made of human skin is even more obscure; but we may 
conjecture that the life or virility of every man struck with die wfefp 
was supposed to be transmitted in some way to the king, who thus 
recruited his vital, and especially his reproductive, energies at this 
solemn feast If I am right in my mterpretatioii, aH these Baganda 

1 Rev. J. Roscoe, Tk* Baganda, account of the ceremonies. 
211 sf. I have abridged the * R*rJ. Rotcce, #. a*, pp. 213 . 




when a 
king of 
was UL 

modes of strengthening the king and prolonging his life belonged fco 
the nutritive rather than to the vicarious type of sacrifice, frota 
which it will follow that they were magical rather than religious in 

The same thing may perhaps be said of the wholesale massacres 
which used to be perpetrated when a king of Uganda was ill. At 
these times the priests informed the royal patient that persons 
marked by a certain physical peculiarity, such as a cast of the eye^ 
a particular gait, or a distinctive colouring, must be put to death. 
Accordingly the king sent out his catchpoles, who waylaid such 
persons in the roads and dragged them to the royal enclosure, where 
they were kept until the tale of victims prescribed by the priest was 
complete. Before they were led away to one of the eight places of 
execution, which were regularly appointed for this purpose in different 
parts of the kingdom, the victims had to drink medicated beer with 
the king out of a special pot, in order that he might have power 
over their ghosts, lest they should afterwards come back to torment 
him. They were killed, sometimes by being speared to death, 
sometimes by being hacked to pieces, sometimes by being burned 
alive. Contrary to the usual custom of the Baganda, the bodies, or 
what remained of the bodies, of these unfortunates were always left 
unburied on the place of execution. 1 In what way precisely the 
sick king was supposed to benefit by these massacres of his subjects 
does not appear, but we may surmise that somehow the victims 
were believed to give their lives for him or to him. 

Thus it is possible that in Israel also the sacrifices of children 
sacrifices to Moloch were in like manner intended to prolong the life of fee 

f i- *i ** ^^ 

toSfotodb kuman king (mekcK) either by serving as substitutes for him or by 
may be recruiting his failing energies with their vigorous young life* But it 
is equally possible, and perhaps more probable, that the sacrifice 
of the first-born children was only a particular application of the 
ancient law which devoted to the deity the first-born of every womb* 
whether of cattle or of human beings. 2 

1 From information furnished by my his book, The Baganda, pp. 331 sgq. 
friend the Rev. J. Roscoe. Compare * Sec The Dying God, pp. 166 

Yet the 



i. The Pollution of Death 

A DIFFERENT explanation of the rule which obliged the Flamen Theory 
Dialis to resign the priesthood on the death of his wife x has been 
suggested by my friend Dr. L. R. FarneH He supposes that such 

a bereavement would render the Flamen ceremonially impure, and widowed 
therefore unfit to hold office, 8 It is true that the ceremonial polio- 5S 
don caused by death commonly disqualifies a man for the discharge 

of sacred functions, but as a rule the disqualification is only tern- by tbe 
porary and can be removed by seclusion and the observance of 
purificatory rites, the length of the seclusion and the nature of the 
purification varying with the degree of relationship in which the living 
stand to the dead. Thus, for example, if one of the sacred eunuchs 
at HierapoHs-Bambyce saw the dead body of a stranger, he was mi- 
dean for that day and might not enter the sanctuary. of the goddess ; 
but next day after purifying himself he was free to enter. But if the 
corpse happened to be that of a relation he was unclean for thirty 
days and had to shave his head before he might set foot within the 
holy precinct 9 Again, in the Greek island of Ceos persons who had 
offered the annual sacrifices to their departed friends were unclean 
for two days afterwards and might not enter a sanctuary ; they had 
to purify themselves with water. 4 Similarly no one might go into 
the shrine of Men Tyrannus for ten days after being in contact with 
the dead 6 Once more, at Stratonicea in Caria a chorus of thirty 
noble boys, clad in white and holding branches in their hands, 
used to sing a hymn daily in honour of Zeus and Hecate ; but if 
one of them were sick or had suffered a domestic bereavement, lie 
was for the time being excused, not permanently excluded, from the 

* Se abo**, voL L p. 45. * G. Dittaaba^er, SyHtp 

April 1907, 

9 Loom, Dt &m Syria, 53. pp. 429 jf^ No. 



performance of his sacred duties. 1 On the analogy of these and 
similar cases we should expect to find the widowed Flamen ten* 
porarily debarred from the exercise of his office, not permanently 
relieved of it. 

Apparent However, in support of Dr. FarnelFs view I would cite an 

parallel^ Indian parallel which was pointed out to me by Dr. W. R R. 
Rivers. Among the Todas of the Neilgherry Hills in Southern India 
the priestly dairyman (palol) is a sacred personage, and his life, like 
that of the Flamen Dialis, is hedged in by many taboos. Now 
when a death occurs in his clan, the dairyman may not attend any 
of the funeral ceremonies unless he gives up office, but he may be 
re-elected after the second funeral ceremonies have been completed, 
In the interval his place must be taken by a man of another clan. 
Some eighteen or nineteen years ago a man named Karkievan 
resigned the office of dairyman when his wife died, but two years 
later he was re-elected and has held office ever since. There have 
meantime been many deaths in his clan, but he has not attended 
a funeral, and has not therefore had to resign his post again. 
Apparently in old times a more stringent rule prevailed, and the 
dairyman was obliged to vacate office whenever a death occurred in 
his clan. For, according to tradition, the clan of Keadrol was 
divided into its two existing divisions for the express purpose of 
ensuring that there might stiU be men to undertake the office of 
dairyman when a death occurred in the clan, the men of the one 
division taking office whenever there was a death in the other. 2 

At first sight this case may seem exactly parallel to the case of 
the Flamen Dialis and the Flaminica on Dn Farnell's theory ; for 
here there can be no doubt whatever that it is the pollution of death 
which disqualifies the sacred dairyman from holding office, since, if 
lie only avoids that pollution by not attending the funeral, he Is 
allowed at the present day to retain his post. On this analogy we 
might suppose that it was not so much the death of his wife as the 
attendance at her funeral which compelled the Flamen Dialis to 
resign, especially as we know that he was expressly forbidden to 
touch a dead body or to enter the place where corpses were 
burned. 8 

But a closer inspection of the facts proves that the analogy 
_ breaks down at some important points. For though the Flamen 
Dialis was forbidden to touch a dead body or to enter a place where 
corpses were burned, he was permitted to attend a funeral; 4 so that 
tfeere could hardly be any objection to his attending the funeral of 

1 Corpus Inscriptionum Graeearum, to mean "leave of absence.** 
Aing. Boeckh, etc. (Berlin, 1828- * W. H. R, Rivers, Tki Tofo* 

it pp. 481 j^, No, 2715, (London, 1906), pp. 99 sg. 
tot rep!? tfowrfr, Jd> nm * Aulns Gellius, x. 15. 24. 
to? $yie& $ *-6tf eUtttf * Aulus Gellius, I.e. : "funus tafftm 

where I understand gotwfo t&qui no* tst retigio." 





bis wife. This permission dearly tells against the view that it was 
the mere pollution of death which obliged him to resign office when 
bis wife died. Further, and this is a point of fundamental difference 
between the two cases, whereas the Fiamen Dialis was bound to be 
married, and married too by a rite of special solemnity, 1 there is no 
such obligation on the sacred dairyman of the Todas ; indeed, if he is 
married, he is bound to live apart from his wife during his term of 
office.* Surely the obligation laid on the Fiamen Dialis to be 
married of itself implies that with the death of his wife he neces- 
sarily ceased to hold office : there is no need to search for another 
reason in the pollution of death which, as I have just shown, does not 
seem to square with the permission granted to the Fiamen to attend 
a funeral That this is indeed the true explanation of the rule in 
question is strongly suggested by the further and apparently parallel 
rule which forbade the Fiamen to divorce his wife; nothing but 
death might part them. 8 Now the rule which enjoined that a 
Fiamen must be married, and the rule which forbade him to divorce 
his wife, have obviously nothing to do with the pollution of death, 
yet they can hardly be separated from the other rule that with the 
death of his wife he vacated office. All three rales are explained in 
the most natural way on the hypothesis which I have adopted, 
namely, that this married priest and priestess had to perform in 
common certain rites which the husband could not perform without 
his wife. The same obvious solution of the problem was suggested 
long ago by Plutarch, who, after asking why the Fiamen Dialis had 
to lay down office on the death of his wife, says, amongst other 
things, that " perhaps it is because she performs sacred rites along 
with him (for many of the rites may not be performed without the 
presence of a married woman), and to marry another wife immedi- 

edition (Leipsic, 1878). 

W. H. R. Rivers, The T*tas % p. 
99. According to an old account, 
there was an important exception to 
the rule, but Dr. Rivers was not able 
to verify it ; he understood that during 
the tenure of his office the dairyman is 
really celibate. 

8 Autos Gellius, x. 15. 23, " Mmt*i- 

q^dbus Jlaminem et f&m$*icam jure monium /emtnis nisi **^^Ww>w 

pontifido in matrimonium masse est 

cemxnirc." Foe a fuller description 

of the rite see Sereins, on Virgil, Aen* 

fo 374* From the testimony of Gains 

it appears that not only the Fiamen 

Dialis but all the other principal 

Flamens were bound to be married. 

However, the text of Gains in this 

passage is somewhat uncertain. I have 

quoted it from P. E, Hnschte's third 


Gains, Instit. I 112, 

nostris Umporibus in usu est: 
no** famines majeres, id tst Dialcs, 
MartiaUs, Qmrinaks, item reges sacrv- 
rum, nisi (qui) ex farreaOs nati swat 
mm leguntvr : ac ne ipsi quidem sine 
cottfarrcationt sacerdotium kabert pos- 
n ; Semus on Virgil, .<4*. IT. 103, 
res ad farr tolas nuptias pertinct y 

non est" ; Festus, p. 9, ed. C O. 
MtUkr, "Fkmroco**; Pteftfd^ 
Quatstwnts Remancu^ 50. Plutarch 
mentions as an illegal exception that 
in his own time the Emperor Domk ian 
allowed a Fiamen to divorce his wife, 
bat the ceremony of the divorce was 
attended by "many awfal, strange, 
and gkw>mv rites" performed by th 




ately on the death of the first would hardly be possible or decent" 1 
This simple explanation of the rule seems quite sufficient, and it 
would clearly hold good whether I am right or wrong in further sup. 
posing that the human husband and wife in this case represented a 
divine husband and wife, a god and goddess, to wit Jupiter and 
Juno, or rather Dianus (Janus) and Diana ; 2 and that supposition 
in its turn might still hold good even if I were wrong in further con- 
jecturing that of this divine pair the goddess (Juno or rather Diana) 
was originally the more important partner. 

Customs of However it is to be explained, the Roman rule which forbade the 
tbfi I r t \h F* amen Diaiis to be a widower has its parallel among the Kotas, a 
J^ tribe who, like the Todas, inhabit the Neilgherry Hills of Southern 
India. For the higher Kota priests are not allowed to be 
widowers ; if a priest's wife dies while he is in office, his appoint- 
ment lapses. At the same time priests "should avoid pollution, 
and may not attend a Toda or Badaga funeral, or approach the 
seclusion hut set apart for Kota women." 3 Jewish priests were 
specially permitted to contract the pollution of death for near rela- 
tions, among whom father, mother, son, daughter, and unmarried 
sister are particularly enumerated ; but they were forbidden to con- 
tract the pollution for strangers. However, among the relations for 
whom a priest might thus defile himself a wife is not mentioned 4 

gods were 

2. The Marriage of the Roman Gods 

The theory The theory that the Flamen Diaiis and his wife personated a 
that the divine couple, whether Jupiter and Juno or Dianus (Janus) and 
Diana, supposes a married relation between the god and goddess, 
and so far it would certainly be untenable if Dr. Famell were right 
in assuming, on the authority of Mr. W. Warde Fowler, that the 
Roman gods were celibate.* On that subject, however, Varro, the 

god (Plutarch, Qwust. Rom. 109; 
Festus, p. 92, ed. C. O. Mtiller, s.v. 
"Flammeo"). There is therefore 
every reason to accept the statement of 
Plutarch (Quatst. Rom. 86) that the 
Flaminica was reputed to be sacred to 
Juno, the divine partner of Jupiter, m 
spite of the objections raised by Mr. W. 
Warde Fowler (" Was the Flaminica 
Diaiis priestess of Juno?" Classical 
Review, ix. (1895) pp. 474 sqq.\ 

* E. Thurston, Castes and Tribes 
ofSoutfum India (Madras, 1909), iv. 


4 Leviticus, zxi. 1-3 ; Ezekiel, xttv. 

* The ffibbert Journal, iv. (1006) 

1 Plutarch, Quacstwnes Jtomttnae, $0. 
That the wives of Roman priests aided 
their husbands in the performance of 
sacred riles is mentioned by Dionysios 
of Halicamassus, who attributes the 
of these joint priesthoods 

to Romulus (Antigvfc Rom. it 22). 
* Tfee epithet Diaiis, which was 
to the Flaminica as well ss to 

Ac Fkmen (Aulus GeUius, x. 15. 26 ; 
Serriais, on Virgil, Aen* iv. 1^7), 
wooid of itself prove that husband aad 
wife served tie same god or pair of 
fods; and wkik the word was doubt- 
by Varro from Jove (Zfe 

wag the priest 


most learned of Roman antiquaries, was of a contrary opinion. He 
not only spoke particularly of Juno as the wife of Jupiter, 1 but he also 
affirmed generally, in the most unambiguous language, that the old 
Roman gods were married, and in saying so he referred not to the 
religion of his own day, which had been modified by Greek influence, 
but to the religion of the ancient Romans, his ancestors. 2 Seneca 
ridiculed the marriage of the Roman gods, citing as examples the 
marriages of Mars and Bellona, of Vulcan and Venus, of Neptune 
and Salacia, and adding sarcastically that some of the goddesses were 
spinsters or widows, such as Populonia, Fulgora, and Rumina, whose 
faded charms or unamiable character had failed to attract a suitor. 8 
Again, the learned Servius, whose commentary on Virgil is a The 

gold mine of Roman religious lore, informs us that the pontiffs 
e . f t r i j -. ^\ vt_ *. o* 

celebrated the marriage of the infernal deity Qrcus with very great 

solemnity; 4 and for this statement he would seem to have had the 
authority of the pontifical books themselves, for he refers to them 
in the same connexion only a few lines before. As it is in the 
highest degree unlikely that the pontiffs would solemnize any foreign 
rites, we may safely assume that the marriage of Orcus was not 
borrowed from Greek mythology, but was a genuine old Roman 
ceremony, and this is all the more probable because Servius, our 
authority for the custom, has recorded some curious and obviously 
ancient taboos which were observed at the marriage and in the 
ritual of Ceres, the goddess who seems to have been joined in 
wedlock to Orcus. One of these taboos forbade the use of wine, 
the other forbade persons to name their father or daughter.* 

1 Varro, De lingua Latina* v. 67, 
** Quodjovis Juno conjux it is ca&lum" 

s Augustine, De rinitaU Dei> iv. 
32, "Dieit ttiam [,sr#, Varro\ dt 
gtnerationibus deorum magis ad pottos 
quam. ad physicos fuisse papules in- 
linaios> et uteo et sexum t generatumts 
deorum majorts sues, id t$t vcteres 
crcdidisse Romanes tt corum constitutes* 

3 Seneca, quoted by Augustine, 
civiiate Dd % vi. 10, " Quid pw 
matrimonia^ inquit y dcorum jungj 
tt w pie quidm>fratrum ac s&rorum ? 
Bellonam Marti conloeamvs, Vulcano 
Venercm > Neptuno Salaciam, Quosdam 
tamen cculibes rtlinyuimuSy quasi con- 
dido deftcerit, pracxrtim cum quaedam 
viduae tint, ut Populonia. vel Fulgora 
& diva Rumina; quibus non minor 
pettiorcm difuisst* In this passage 
the marriage of Venus to Vulcan is 
probably Greek ; all the rest is pure 

4 Servius, on Virgil, Gcorg. L 344, 
" Atiud of sacrum, aliud nuptias 
Cereri ctltbrare, m quibus re vtra. 
vinum adhiberi nefasfuerat, quae Ore* 
nuptiae dice&mtur, quas praestnti& 
sua pontijiccs ingenti soieianitate cdt- 

* Servius, on Virgil, Gwrg. i 344, 
and on Aen* iv. 58. As to the pro- 
hibition of wine, compare Macroblta, 

Saturn. iiL iz. There seems to be 
QO doubt tbat Orcus was a geawbe old 
Italian god of death and the dead. 
See the evidence collected by R. Peter, 
s.v. "Orcus," m W. HL 
Ltxikon dergrieck. 

iii 940 s??., who says that "Great 
was obviously one of those old Roman 
gods who occupied the thoughts of the 
people in the naost lively manner," Oft 
the other hand, ProC G. Wissowa sup- 
poses that Orcus k in^ely a bonsowed 
form of the Greek Horkos (Rttip** und 

' ii tftfv 




of Aulus 
to the 
of the 

Further, the learned Roman antiquary Aulus Gellius quote* 
from " the books of the priests of the Roman people " (the highest 
possible authority on the subject) and from " many ancient speeches * 
a list of old Roman deities, in which there seem to be at least five 
pairs of males and females. 1 More than that he proves conclusively 
by quotations from Plautus, the annalist Cn. Gellius, and Licinius 
Imbrex that these old writers certainly regarded one at least of the 
pairs (Mars and Nerio) as husband and wife ; 2 and we have good 
ancient evidence for viewing in the same light three others of the 
pairs. Thus the old annalist and antiquarian L. Cincius Alimentus, 
who fought against Hannibal and was captured by him, affirmed in 
his work on the Roman calendar that Maia was the wife of Vulcan * 
and as there was a Flamen of Vulcan, who sacrificed to Maia on 
May Day, 4 it is reasonable to suppose that he was assisted in the 
ceremony by a Flaminica, his wife, just as on my hypothesis tiie 
Flamen Dialis was assisted by his wife the Flaminica. Another old 
Roman historian, L. Calpurnius Piso, who wrote in the second 
century B.C., said that tbe name of Vulcan's wife was not Maia but 

was not a god of death and the dead ; 

he was simply a personified oath (Spicot ; 

see Hesiod, Works and Days> 804 

"OpKov yeiv6fjvov 9 roy "El/us rifice vrjf^ 

ri6/>Hj), an abstract idea which 

makes no figure in Greek mythology 

and religion. That such a rare and 

thin Greek abstraction should through 

a gross misunderstanding be trans- 

formed into a highly popular Roman 

god of death, who not only passed 

master with the people but was ad- 

mitted by the pontiffs themselves to 

the national pantheon and honoured 

by them with a solemn ritual, is in the 

last degree improbable. 

1 Aulus Gellius, xiit 23 (22), I sq. 9 
** Conprccatiotus dettm inmcrtalium y 
gnat ritu Romano fant^ expositor sunt 
in libris sacerdotum popidi Romani et 
m plerisquc antiquis oratiow&us* In 
kis scribtum e$t: Luam Satumi, 
Saktdan Neptomi* Horam Quirini, 
Writes Ownm* Maiam Vokani, 
JSeriem Junoms^ Moles Martis NerU- 
wmqw MartisS As to this list see 
Mr. W. Warde Fowler, Roman Fes- 
Ovais tf tki Period if the Republic 
1899)* pp. 60-62 j <, TTu 
Experience of the Raman 

He rwlds (p. 485} that the 
names Smlacia, etc., do not 

designate goddesses, the wives of the 
gods, but that they " indicate functions 
or attributes of the male deity to whom 
they are attached." 

2 Aulus Gellius, xiii. 23 (22), n- 

8 Macrobius, Saturn, i. 12. 18, 
" Cingius mensem [Mazum] nominatotm 
putat a Maia, quam Vulcani tlicit 
uxorem^ argumentoque utitur quod 
flamen Vulcanalis Kalendis Mow 
huic deae rem divinam facit: sed Piso 
uocorcm Vulcani Majestam,non Maiam> 
dicit vocari." The work of Cincius 
(Cingius) is mentioned by Macrobius 
in the same chapter ( 12, " Cingivs 
in eo libro quern de fastis reliquit**}* 
As to the life and writings of this old 
annalist and antiquary see M. Schanz, 
Geschichfe der romischen Litteraturf 
L (Munich, 1898), p. 128; G. 
Wissowa, Munzer, and Cichorius, s.v. 
"Cincius," in Pauly-Wissowa's Real- 
encyclopodie der classisclun Altertutns- 
vnssenschaft, iii 2555 sqq. All these 
writers distinguish the old annalist 
from the antiquary, whom they take to 
have been a later writer of the same 
name. But the distinction appears to 
be purely arbitrary and destitute of any 
ancient authority. 

4 Macrobius, Saber*, i. 12. 18 
See the preceding note. 


Majestas. 1 In saying so he may have intended to correct what be 
believed to be a mistake of his predecessor L, Cincius. Again, 
that Salacia was the wife of Neptune is perhaps implied by Varro, 1 
and is positively affirmed by Seneca, Augustine, and Servius. 8 Again, 
Ennius appears to have regarded Hora as the wife of Quirinus, for 
in the first book of his Annals he declared his devotion to that 
divine pair. 4 In fact, of the five pairs of male and female deities 
cited by Aulus Gellius from the priestly books and ancient speeches 
the only one as to which we have not independent evidence that it 
consisted of a husband and wife is Saturn and Lua ; and in regard 
to Lua we know that she was spoken of as a mother, s which renders 
it not improbable that she was also a wife. However, according to 
some very respectable authorities the wife of Saturn was not Lua, 
but Ops, 6 so that we have two independent lines of proof that 
Saturn was supposed to be married. 

Lastly, the epithets "father* 1 and "mother 1 * which the Romans 
bestowed on many of their deities 7 are most naturally understood 

1 Macrobius, Saturn, i. 12. 18. See 
the passage cited above, p. 232, note 2 , 

* Varro, De lingua Latina, v. 72, 
" Salacia Neptuni a solo." This was 
probably one of the cases which Varro 
had in his mind when he stated that 
the ancient Roman gods were married. 

* Augustine, De civitate Dei, vii. 
22, "Jem utique kateb&t 

* ^ *A 

Ncptunus uxorem*; Servius, on Vir- 
gil, Aen, x. 76, "Santkanc Veniliam 
fuidam Salaciam accipiunt, Neptuni 
uxorem" As lor Seneca's evidence 
see above, p. 231, note 8 * 

* Nonius Marcellns, De compendiosa 
doctrina, p. 125, ed. L. Quicherat 
(Paris, 1872), Hora jwentutis dea. 
Ennius Annal^um] lib. i. \Tegw^\ 
Quirine pater^ vcneror, Horamque 

*\ mm * u 

6 Lavy viii. I. 6, xlv. 33. 2. 

* Festus, p. 1 86, ed C. O. Muller, 
" Opima spolia dicuntur originem 

traAintia ab Ope Saturni 

without expressly affirming them to 
be husband and wife. Professor G. 
Wissowa, however, argues that the 
male partner (he would not my hus- 
band) of Ops was not Saturn bat 
Consus. See G. Wissowa, " Dfferw 
anni Romancrum vctustissimi abser&a- 
ti&nts sdtttae" reprinted in his Gfsam- 
melte Abkandlungcn tur r&miscken 

uxort"; id,, p. 187, " Opis dicta est 

" \ 

confux Soturni 
i 10. 19, "ffonc outem deam Opem 
Saturni conjugem crediderunt, et idee 
hoc mense Saturnalia itemque Opa&a 
celebrari, quod Satumus efusque uxor 
tamfrugum quam fntctuum repertores 
tt& crtduntur." Varro couples Saturn 
and Ops together (De lingua Latino, 
v. 57, " Principes m Latie Satumus 

1 904), pp. I tftsqq. His view is accepted 
by Mr. W. Warde Fowler (R&mttn 
Festivals of the Period of the RepuMit, 
p. 212 ; The Religious Experience tf 
the Roman People, p. 482). 

7 Lactantitts, Divin. Instit. IT. 3, 
" Itaque et Jupiter a prtcantibus peter 
vocatvr, & Saturnus, et Janus, et 
jLiber, et ceteri deinceps, quod Luri/tus 
m deorum etmsilio irridet: 

Ut nem& sit nostrum, quin out 
pater eptimus drvum 

Ut Neptunus pater, Liter, 

nus pater, Men* 
Janus, Quirinus pater 
duatvr ad unum." 

Compare Aulus Gellius, v. 12. 51 
Servius, on Virgil, Ge&rg, i. 4. 
Roman goddesses who received die 
title of Mother were Vesta, Earth, 
Ops, Matuta, and Lea. As to 


i. 2295 as to Motet 

Qfe"; compare & t T. 64), but 







Paternity to imply paternity and maternity ; and if the implication is admitted, 
the inference appears to be inevitable that these divine beings were 
SUPP 056 ^ to exercise sexual functions, whether in lawful marriage or 
in unlawful concubinage. As to Jupiter in particular his paternity 
is positively attested by Latin inscriptions, one of them very old, 
which describe Fortuna Primigenia, the great goddess of Praeneste, 
as his daughter. 1 Again, the rustic deity Faunus, one of the oldest 
and most popular gods of Italy, 2 was represented by tradition in the 
character of a husband and a father ; one of the epithets applied to 
him expressed in a coarse way his generative powers. 8 Fauna or 
the Good Goddess (Bona Dea), another of the oldest native Italian 
deities, was variously called his wife or his daughter, and he is said 
to have assumed the form of a snake in order to cohabit with her. 4 
Again, the most famous of all Roman myths represented the founder 

Latino* Selects, Nos. 395O-3955, 
3960; as to Mother Ops see Varro, 
De lingua Latina, v. 64 ; as to 
Mother Matuta see L. Preller, R6- 
mische Mythologit* i. 322 sqq* ; G. 
"Wissowa, Religion, und Kultus der 
Rtimerfw no*^.; id^s.v. "Mater 
Matuta," in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon 
der gricch, und rom. Mytkologie^ ii. 
2462 sgg. I cite these passages only 
to prove that the Romans commonly 
applied the titles "fether" and 
"mother" to their deities. The in- 
ference that these titles implied pater- 
nity or maternity is my own, but in the 
text I have given some reasons for 
thinking that the Romans themselves 
accepted the implication. Mr. W. 
Warde Fowler, on the other hand, 
prefers to suppose that the titles were 
employed in a merely figurative sense 
to "imply the dependence of the 
human citizen upon his divine pro- 
tector**; but he admits that what ex- 
actly tJie Romans understood by pater 
and mater applied to deities is not 
easy to determine (TTu Religious Ex- 
perienc&&f tkt Roman Pecph^ pp. 155. 
157). He makes at the same time 
the important observation that the 
Romans never, so far as he is aware, 
applied the terms Father and Mother 
to foreign gods, bet "always to di 
wdigctts, those on whom the original 
Roman stock looked as their fellow- 
guardians.** The limita- 

tion is significant and seems more 
explicable on my hypothesis 

than on that of my learned friend. 

1 See Corpus Inscriptionum Lati- 
norum, xiv. Nos. 2862, 2863 ; H. 
Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Sclectae^ 
Nos. 3684, 3685; R. Peter, s.v. 
Fortuna, " in W. H. Roscher'i 
Lexikon der grieehischen undromischen 
Mythologie> i. 1542 ; G. Wissowa, 
Religion und Kultus der Romer? p. 
259. I have to thank my learned and 
candid friend Mr. W. Warde Fowler 
for referring me to this good evidence 
of Jupiter's paternal character. 

* L. Preller, Romiscke Mythologie* 
(Berlin, 1881-1883), L 379. 

3 The epithet Inuus applied to 
Faunus was so understood by the 
ancients, and this suffices to prove the 
conception they had of the god*t 
virility, whether the etymology was 
right or wrong. See Servius, on 
Virgil, Aen. vi. 775, "Dicitur autem 
Inuus ab ineundo passim cum omnibus 
animalibus*" As to the title see G. 
Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der 
Romer? p. 21 1, who, however, rejects 
the ancient etymology and the identi- 
fication of Inuus with Faunus. 

4 Macrobius, Saturn, i 12. 21-24; 
Lactantius, Divin. Instit. L 22; 
Servius, on Virgil, Aen. viii. 314; 
Plutarch, Caesar^ 9 ; id, Quaest. 
Roman. 20. According to Varro, 
the goddess was the daughter of 
Faunus {Macrobius, Saturn, i. 12. 27); 
according to Sextos Qodius she was 
his wife (Lactantius, I.e.; compare 
Arnobius, Adoersus nationes^ v. 18). 


of Rome himself, Romulus and his twin brother Remus, as begotten 
by the god Mars on a Vestal Virgin; 1 and every Roman who 
accepted the tradition thereby acknowledged the fatherhood of the 
god in the physical, not in a figurative, sense of the word. If the 
story of the birth of Romulus and Remus should be dismissed as a 
late product of the mythical fancy working under Greek influence, 
the same objection can hardly be urged against the story of the birth 
of another Roman king, Servius Tullius, who is said to have been a 
son of the fire-god and a slave woman ; his mother conceived him 
beside the royal hearth, where she was impregnated by a flame that 
shot out from the fire in the shape of the male organ of generation. 2 
It would scarcely be possible to express the physical fatherhood of 
the fire-god in more unambiguous terms. Now a precisely similar 
story was told of the birth of Romulus himself; 3 and we may 
suspect that this was an older form of the story than the legend 
which fathered the twins on Mars. Similarly, Caeculus, the founder 
of Praeneste, passed for a son of the fire-god Vulcan. It was said 
that his mother was impregnated by a spark which leaped from the 
fire and struck her as she sat by the hearth. In later life, when 
Caeculus boasted of his divine parentage to a crowd, and they 
refused to believe him, he prayed to his father to give the un- 
believers a sign, and straightway a lambent flame surrounded the 
whole multitude. The proof was conclusive, and henceforth Caeculus 
passed for a true son of the fire-god. 4 Such tales of kings or heroes 
begotten by the fire-god on mortal women appear to be genuine old 
Italian myths, which may well go back far beyond the foundation 
of Rome to the common fountain of Aryan mythology ; for the 
marriage customs observed by various branches of the Aryan family 
point clearly to a belief in the power of fire to impregnate women. 8 

On the whole, if we follow the authority of the ancients We 
themselves, we seem bound to conclude that the Roman gods, 
like those of many other early peoples, were believed to be 

married and to beget children. It is true that, compared gods 
with the full-blooded gods of Greece, the deities of Rome * v 
appear to us shadowy creatures, pale abstractions garbed in little 
that can vie with the gorgeous pall of myth and story which Grecian 
fancy threw around its divine creations. Yet the few specimens of 
Roman mythology which have survived the wreck of antiquity f 

1 Livy, i. 4. a ; Plutarch, Romulus, 
4; Dionysius Halicamasensis, Anti- 
quit. Reman* i. 77. 

* See The Magic Art and the Evolu- 
tion of Kings, ii. 19$ j?. 

8 Plutarch, Remulus % 2, Plutarch's 
autiiority was Promathion in his history 
of Italy. See The Magic Art and tJu 
Evolution cfKi*&> ii. 196. 

* Servius, on Virgfl, A&*. tm. 

* The Magic Art and the Evohttio* 

of Kings i E. 230 s$. 

* Such, lor example, as the love* of 
Vertamnus far Pomona (Ovid, Mctam* 
v. 623 J^} of Jupiter for Jatem* 

(Ovid, Fasti, it 58$ *&}* * * 
Janus for Cama (Ovid, Fa*ti t vl IQI 

sqq.} and for Cawasen* (Serving on 




Rule of 
Greek and 
ritual that 
could only 
be held by 
boys whose 
were both 

justify us in believing that they are but fragments of far more 
copious traditions which have perished. At all events the com- 
parative aridity and barrenness of the Roman religious imagination 
is no reason for setting aside the positive testimony of learned 
Roman writers as to a point of fundamental importance in their 
own religion about which they could hardly be mistaken. It should 
never be forgotten that on this subject the ancients had access to 
many sources of information which are no longer open to us, and 
for a modern scholar to reject their evidence in favour of a personal 
impression derived from a necessarily imperfect knowledge of the 
facts seems scarcely consistent with sound principles of history and 
criticism. 1 

3. Children of Living Parents in Ritual 

But Dr. Farnell adduces another argument in support of his 
view that it was the pollution of death which obliged the widowed 
Flamen Dialis to resign the priesthood. He points to what he con- 
siders the analogy of the rule of Greek ritual which required that 
certain sacred offices should be discharged only by a boy whose parents 
were both alive. 2 This rule he would explain in like manner by 
supposing that the death of one or both of his parents would render 
a boy ceremonially impure and therefore unfit to perform religious 
functions. Dr. Farnell might have apparently strengthened his case 
by observing that the Flamen Dialis and the Flaminica Dialis were 
themselves assisted in their office, the one by a boy, the other by a 
girl, both of whose parents must be alive. 3 At first sight this fits in 

Virgil, Am. viii. 330). The water- 
nymph Juturna beloved by Jupiter is 
said to have been the daughter of the 
river Vulturous, the wife of Janus, and 
the mother of Fontus (Arnobius, Ad- 
versvs nationes^ iii. 29). Janus in 
particular would seem to have been 
the theme of many myths, and his 
claim to be a genuine Italian god has 
never been disputed. 

1 The marriage of the Roman gods 
has been denied by E. Aust {Die Re- 
ligion dtrRonier^ Mtinster L W. 1899, 
pp. 19 $q.} and Professor G. Wissowa 
(Religion und Kultus der Romerf pp. 
26 sg,) t as well as by Mr. W. Warde 
Fowler. On the other hand, the 
evidence for it has been clearly and 
concisely stated by L. Preller, Romiscke 
Mythoh&e* 1. 55-57. It is with 
sincere diffidence that I venture to 
differ on a point of Roman religion 
from the eminent scholars I have 
named. But without for a moment 

pitting my superficial acquaintance with 
Roman religion against their deep learn- 
ing, I cannot but think that the single 
positive testimony of Varro on a matter 
about which he could scarcely be ignor- 
ant ought to outweigh the opinion of 
any modern scholar, however learned 
and able. 

2 The Hibbert Journal, April 1907, 
p. 689. Such a boy was called a TCUS 
&H<f>Lda\T?)s t "a boy blooming on both 
sides," the metaphor being drawn from 
a tree which sends out branches on 
both sides. See Plato, Laws, xt 8, 
p. 927 D ; Julius Pollux, iii. 25 ; 
Hesychius and Suidas, s.v. d^iflaXfc 

3 Festus, p. 93, ecL C. O. Mttller, "Flaminius" and *'Flaminia. M 
That certain Roman rites had to be 
performed by the children of living 
parents is mentioned hi general terms 
by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Anti 
quit. Rom. ii. 22). 


perfectly with his theory : the Flamen, the Flaminica, and theii 
youthful ministers were all rendered incapable of performing their 
sacred duties by the taint or corruption of death. 

But a closer scrutiny of the argument reveals a flaw. It proves Bat the 
coo much. For observe that in these Greek and Roman offices rale which 
held by boys and girls the disqualification caused by the death of a ^hans 
parent is necessarily lifelong, since the bereavement is irreparable, from cer- 
Accordingly, if Dr. Farnell's theory is right, the ceremonial pollution tain sacred 
which is the cause of the disqualification must also be lifelong; in 
other words, every orphan is ceremonially unclean for life and based on 
thereby excluded for ever from the discharge of sacred duties. So a 
sweeping a rule would at a stroke exclude a large, if not the larger, 
part of the population of any country from the offices of religion, menially 
and lay them permanently under all those burdensome restrictions 
which the pollution of death entails among many nations ; for the 
obviously a large, if not the larger, part of the population of any of tfaeir 
country at any time has lost one or both of its parents by death, parents* 
No people, so far as I know, has ever carried the theory of the 
ceremonial pollution of death to this extremity in practice. And 
even if it were supposed that the taint wore off or evaporated with 
time from common folk so as to let them go about their common 
duties in everyday life, would it not still cleave to priests ? If it 
incapacitated the Flamen's minister, would it not incapacitate the 
Flamen himself? In other words, would not the Flamen Dialis be 
obliged to vacate office on the death of his father or mother ? There 
is no hint in ancient writers that he had to do so. And while 
it is generally unsafe to argue from the silence of our authorities, 
I think that we may do so in this case without being rash; for 
Plutarch not only mentions but discusses the rule which obliged the 
Flamen Dialis to resign office on the death of his wife, 1 and if he 
had known of a parallel rule which compelled him to retire on the 
death of a parent, he would surely have mentioned it. But if the 
ceremonial pollution which would certainly be caused by the death 
of a parent did not compel the Flamen Dialis to vacate office, we 
may safely conclude that neither did the similar pollution caused 
by the death of his wife. Thus the argument adduced by Dr. 
Farnell in favour of his view proves on analysis to tell strongly 
against it. 

But if the rule which excluded orphans from certain sacred Examples 
offices cannot with any probability be explained on the theory of 

their ceremonial pollution, it may be worth while to inquire whether of orphans 
another and better explanation of the rule cannot be found- For 
that purpose I shall collect all the cases of it known to me. The 
collection is doubtless far from complete: I only offer it as a 
starting-point for research. 

1 Plutarch, Quaes&mts Romanac, 50. 


Boys and At the time of the vintage, which in Greece falls in October 

girls of Athenian boys chosen from every tribe assembled at the sanctuary 

events of Dionysus, the god of the vine. There, branches of vines laden 

employed with ripe grapes were given to them, and holding them in their 

in Greek hands they raced to the sanctuary of Athena Sciras. The winner 

rites at tlie * j j j j T ****Act 

vintage, received and drained a cup containing a mixture of olive-oil, wine, 
harvest honey, cheese, and barley-groats. It was necessary that both the 
home, and parents of each of these boy-runners should be alive. 1 At the 
50Wln& same festival, and perhaps on the same day, an Athenian boy, whose 
parents must both be alive, carried in procession a branch of olive 
wreathed with white and purple wool and decked with fruits of 
many kinds, while a chorus sang that the branch bore figs, fat 
loaves, honey, oil, and wine. Thus they went in procession to a 
temple of Apollo, at the door of which the boy deposited the holy 
bough. The ceremony is said to have been instituted by the 
Athenians in obedience to an oracle for the purpose of supplicat- 
ing the help of the god in a season of dearth. 2 Similar boughs 
similarly laden with fruits and loaves were hung up on the doors of 
every Athenian house and allowed to remain there a year, at the 
end of which they were replaced by fresh ones. While the branch 
was being fastened to the door, a boy whose parents were both 
alive recited the same verses about the branch bearing figs, fat 
loaves, honey, oil, and wine. This custom also is said to have 
been instituted for the sake of putting an end to a dearth. 3 The 
people of Magnesia on the Maeander vowed a bull every year to 
Zeus, the Saviour of the City, in the month of Cronion, at the 
beginning of sowing, and after maintaining the animal at the public 
expense throughout the winter they sacrificed it, apparently at 
harvest-time, in the following summer. Nine boys and nine girls, 
whose fathers and mothers were all living, took part in the religious 
services of the consecration and the sacrifice of the bull At the 
consecration public prayers were offered for the safety of the city 
and the land, for the safety of the citizens and their wives and 
childi *n, for the safety of all that dwelt in the city and the land, 
for peace and wealth and abundance of corn and all other fruits, 
and for the cattle, A herald led the prayers, and the priest and 
priestess, the boys and girls, the high officers and magistrates, all 

1 Proclus, in Photius, Bibliotheca, vnd FeldkuUc* pp. 214 sag. 

p. 322 A, ed. I. Bekker (Berlin, 2 _, ,.... 

1824) j Athenaeus, xi. 92, pp. 495 Eustathms, on Homer, fitad, xxn. 

Jf.; Scholiast on Nicander, Alexi- 495> P" I2 3 Etymclogicum Magnum^ 

jkarmaca, 109. Only the * last of P ' 3 3 ' l8 *&'> SlV ' ^P**^ Plu ' 

these writers mentions that the boys tarch Thes ^ us ^ 22 - According to a 

had to be <i/*0c0a\f. As to this scholiast on Aristophanes (Plutas, 

nd the following custom see A. I( ? 54 ^ the branch mi S ht ** ***** * 

Mommsen, FesU <kr Stadt Athen im olive or kureL 

AUertum (Leipsic, 1898), pp. 278 Scholiast on Aristophanes, Plutta, 

W. ; W, Maunhardt, AntiJu Wato* 1054. 


joined in these solemn petitions for the welfare of their country. 1 
Among the Karo-Bataks of Central Sumatra the threshing of the 
rice is the occasion of various ceremonies, and in these a prominent 
part is played by a girl, whose father and mother must be both alive. 
Her special duty is to take care of the sheaf of rice in which the soul 
of the rice is believed to reside. This sheaf usually consists of the 
first ,rice cut and bound in the field; it is treated exactly like a 
person. 2 

The rites thus far described, in which boys and girls of living Boyi of 
parents took part, were clearly ceremonies intended specially to 
ensure the fertility of the soil. This is indicated not merely by the 
nature of the rites and of the prayers or verses which accompanied 
them, but also by the seasons at which they were observed ; for of 
these were the vintage, the harvest-home, and the beginning of Brothers 
sowing. We may therefore compare a custom practised by the 
Roman Brethren of the Ploughed Fields (Fratrts Arvales\ a college 
of priests whose business it was to perform the rites deemed neces- 
sary for the growth of the corn. As a badge of office they wore 
wreaths of corn-ears, and paid their devotions to an antique goddess 
of fertility, the Dea Dia. Her home was in a grove of ancient 
evergreen oaks and laurels out in the Campagna, five miles from 
Rome. Hither every year in the month of May, when the fields 
were ripe or ripening to the sickle, reaped ears of the new corn were 
brought and hallowed by the Brethren with quaint rites, that a 
blessing might rest on the coming harvest. The first or preliminary 
consecration of the ears, however, took place, not in the grove, but 
in the house of the Master of the Brethren at Rome. Here the 
Brethren were waited upon by four free-born boys, the children of 
living fathers and mothers. While the Brethren reclined on couches, 
the boys were allowed to sit on chairs and partake of the feast, and 
when it was over they carried the rest of the now hallowed corn and 
laid it on the altar. 8 

1 O. Kern, Die Inschriften vett 
Magnesia am Maeander (Berlin, 1900), 
No. 98; G. Dittenberger, Syilogc In* 
scriptionum Graecarum^ vol. ii. pp. 
246 tt/jjr., No. 553. This inscription 
has been well expounded by Prof. 
M. P. Nilsson (Grtechtscke Fcste* 
Leipsic, 1906, pp. 23-27). I follow 
him and Dittenberger in regarding 
the month of Artemision, when the 
bull was sacrificed, as the harvest 
month corresponding to the Attic 

* J. H. Neumann, '* lets over den 
landbouw bij de Karo-Bataks," Mede- 
dttlingcn van wege het Ntderlandsche 
Zcndclinggenootsch&p^i. { 1 902) p. 38 1* 

3 G. Henzen, Aeta Fratmm Arua- 
Hum (Berlin, 1874), pp. vi. sq.> cut 
ex. cxix. cliii. clix. clxxxvii. $2, 13, 
15. As to the evergreen oaks and 
laurels of the grove, see &, pp. 137, 
138; as to the wreaths of corn-ears, 
see &., pp. 26, 2$; Aulus Gellius, 
vii. 7. 8. That the rites performed 
by the Ami Brothers were intended 
to make the fields bear corn is ex* 
pressly stated by Varro (De lingua. 
Latino^ v. 85, " Fraires Angles a&# 
svnt, qui sacra pubUca faciunt prep* 
Urea ut frugts f Brant area"). Oa 
the Arval Brothers and their rites 
see also L. Preller, Rfoniscke Mytk*- 
iL 29 sqq. ; J. Marquardt, 




in fertility 
rites the 



Sons of 


and the 

In these and all other rites intended to ensure the fertility of 
the ground, of cattle, or of human beings, the employment of 
children of livi ng parents seems to be intelligible on the principle 
of sympathetic magic; for such children might be deemed fuller 
f life than or P hans either becaus e they " flourished on both sides " 
as the Greeks P ut & or because the very survival of their parents 
might be taken as a proof that the stock of which the children came 
was vigorous and therefore able to impart of its superabundant 

ener sy to oth ? rs - . 

But t* 16 r ft es i n which the children of living parents are required 

to officiate do not always aim at promoting the growth of the crops. 

At ^ l y m P ia the olive-branches which formed the victors' crowns 

hacl to De cut fr m a sacred tree with a golden sickle by a lad whose 

father and mother must be both alive. 1 The tree was a wild olive 

g rowin withm tiie h oty precinct, at the west end of the temple of 

Zeus. It bore the name of the Olive of the Fair Crown, and near 

it was an altar to the Nymphs of the Fair Crowns. 2 At Delphi 

every ei &kth year a sacred drama or miracle-play was acted which 

drew crowds of spectators from all parts of Greece. It set forth 

the slaying of the Dragon by Apollo. The principal part was 

sustained by a lad, the son of living parents, who seems to have 

personated the god himself. In an open space the likeness of a 

lordly palace, erected for the occasion, represented the Dragon's 

den. It was attacked and burned by the lad, aided by women who 

carried blazing torches. When the Dragon had received his deadly 

wound, the lad, still acting the part of the god, fled far away to 

be purged of the guilt of blood in the beautiful Vale of Tempe, 

where the Peneus flows in a deep wooded gorge between the 

snowy peaks of Olympus and Ossa, its smooth and silent tide 

shadowed by overhanging trees and tall white cliffs. In places 

these great crags rise abruptly from the stream and approach 

each other so near that only a narrow strip of sky is visible over- 

head; but where they recede a little, the meadows at their foot 

are verdant with evergreen shrubs, among which Apollo's own laurel 

may still be seen. In antiquity the god himself, stained with the 

Dragon's blood, is said to have come, a haggard footsore way- 

farer, to this wild secluded glen and there plucked branches from 

one of the laurels that grew in its green thickets beside the 

rippling river. Some of them he used to twine a wreath for his 

brows, one of them he carried in his hand, doubtless in order that, 

guarded by the sacred plant, he might escape the hobgoblins which 

Staatsverwaltung, ffi.2 (Leip- paedia of Religion and Ethics, ii, 

sic, 1885) pp. 447-462 ; G. Wissowa, (Edinburgh, 1909) pp. ^ sqq. 
JUligun und Kultus der Rimer? pp. , , .. 4 _. , .. ^ ... ,. 
5^1 Jtf. ; J. B. Carter, . < Arval Scholiast on Pindar, Ofymf. m. 60, 

Brothers," in J. Hastings'* Encyclo- Pausaniaa, v. 15. \. 


dogged his steps. So the boy, his human representative, did the 
same, and brought back to Delphi wreaths of laurel from the same 
tree to be awarded to the victors in the Pythian games. Hence 
the whole festival of the Slaying of the Dragon at Delphi went by 
the name of the Festival of Crowning. 1 From this it appears 
that at Delphi as well as at Olympia the boughs which were used 
to crown the victors had to be cut from a sacred tree by a boy 
whose parents must be both alive. 

At Thebes a festival called the Laurel- bearing was held once in Sons of 
every eight years, when branches of laurel were carried in procession Iivi 
to the temple of Apollo. The principal part in the procession was 
taken by a boy who held a laurel bough and bore the title of the Laurel- 
Laurel-bearer : he seems to have personated the god himself. His ^"ra 
hair hung down on his shoulders, and he wore a golden crown, a Thebes> 
bright-coloured robe, and shoes of a special shape : both his parents 
must be alive. 2 We may suppose that the golden crown which he 
wore was fashioned in the shape of laurel leaves and replaced a 
wreath of real laurel. Thus the boy with the laurel wreath on 
his head and the laurel bough in his hand would resemble the 
traditional equipment of Apollo when he purified himself for the 
slaughter of the dragon. We may conjecture that at Thebes the 
Laurel-bearer originally personated not Apollo but the local hero 
Cadmus, who slew the dragon and had like Apollo to purify himself 
for the .slaughter. The conjecture is confirmed by vase-paintings 
which represent Cadmus crowned with laurel preparing to attack the 
dragon or actually in combat with the monster, while goddesses 
bend over him holding out wreaths of laurel as the meed of victory. 1 
On this hypothesis the octennial Delphic Festival of Crowning and 
the octennial Theban Festival of Laurel-bearing were closely akin : 
in both the prominent part played by the laurel was purificatory or 
expiatory. 4 Thus at Olympia, Delphi, and Thebes a boy whose 

1 Plutarch, Quaestiones Gratcae* 12; 
id*, Dedefectu oraculorum^ 15 ; Aelian, 
Varia Historic, iii I ; Strabo, ix. 3. 
12, p. 422. In a note on Pausanias 
(ii, 7. 7, vol. iii. pp. 53 sqq.} I have 
described the festival more folly and 
adduced savage parallels. As to the 
Vale of Tempe see W. M. Leake, 
Travels in Northern Gretce (London, 
*%35)* UL 390 sqq. The rhetoric of 
Livy (xliv. 6. 8) has lashed the smooth 
and silent current of the Peneus into a 
roaring torrent. 

* Proclus, in Photius, Billiotheta> 
ed. I. Bekker, p. 321. 

8 O. Crusius, s*v. "Kadmos," in 
W. H. Roscher's Lexikon. der gritck. 
und rom. Mythologie, ii. 830, 838, 839. 

On an Etruscan mirror the scene of 
Cadmus's combat with the dragon is 
surrounded with a wreath of laurel 
(O. Crusius, op. cit. ii. 862 ). My learned 
friend Mr. A. B. Cook was the first to 
call attention to these vase-paintings 
in confirmation of my view that the 
Festival of the Laurel -bearing cele- 
brated the destruction of the dragon 
by Cadmus. See A. B. Cook, "Tte 
European Sky- God," Folklore* xv. 
(1904) p. 411, note 224 ; and my note 
on Pausanias, ix. 10. 4 (voL v, pp. 
41 J0y.) 

4 I have examined both festivals 
more closely in a former part of this 
work (Tie Dying God* pp. 78 jf?.), 
and have shown grounds for holding 




If wreaths 




we could 




of living 



chosen to 

cut and 

wear them. 

parents were both alive was entrusted with the duty of cutting or 
wearing a sacred wreath at a great festival which recurred at intervals 
of several years. 1 

Why a boy of living parents should be chosen for such an office 
is not at first sight clear ; the reason might be more obvious if we 
understood the ideas in which the custom of wearing wreaths and 
crowns had its origin. Probably in many cases wreaths and crowns 
were amulets before they were ornaments ; in other words, their 
first intention may have been not so much to adorn the head as to 
protect it from harm by surrounding it with a plant, a metal, or any 
other thing which was supposed to possess the magical virtue of 
banning baleful influences. Thus the Arabs of Moab will put a 
circlet of copper on the head of a man who is suffering from 
headache, for they believe that this will banish the pain ; and if the 
pain is in an arm or a leg, they will treat the ailing limb in like 
manner. They think that red beads hung before the eyes of 
children who are afflicted with ophthalmia will rid them of the 
malady, and that a red ribbon tied to the foot will prevent it from 
stumbling on a stony path. 2 Again, the Melanesians of the Gazelle 
Peninsula in New Britain often deck their dusky bodies with 

that the old octennial cycle in Greece, 
based on an attempt to harmonize solar 
and lunar time, gave rise to an octennial 
festival at which the mythical marriage 
of the sun and moon was celebrated by 
the dramatic marriage of human actors, 
who appear sometimes to have been 
the king and queen. In the Laurel- 
bearing at Thebes a clear reference 
to the astronomical character of the 
festival is contained in the emblems of 
the sun, moon, stars, and days of the 
year which were carried in procession 
(Proclus* Lc.} ; and another reference 
to it may be detected in the legendary 
marriage of Cadmus and Harmonia. 
Dr. L. R. Farnell supposes that the 
festival of the Laurel-bearing " belongs 
to the maypole processions, universal in 
the peasant-religion of Europe, of which 
the object is to quicken the vitalizing 
powers of the year in the middle of 
spring or at the beginning of summer" 
(The Cults of the Greek States, iv. 28$).' 
But this explanation appears to be in- 
consistent with the octennial period of 
the festival 

1 We may conjecture that the 
Olympic, like the Delphic and the 
Theban, festival was at first octennial, 
though in historical times it was 

quadrennial. Certainly it seems to 
have been based on an octennial cycle. 
See the Scholiast on Pindar, Olymp. 
iiL 35 (20) ; Aug. Boeckh on Pindar, 
Explicationes (Leipsic, 1821), p. 138 ; 
L. Ideler, HandbuchdermatJumatischen 
und technischen Chronologic, i. 366 
sq. ; G. F. Unger, " Zeitrechnung der 
Griechen und Romer," in I wan Mliller's 
Handbiuh der klassiscktn Altertums- 
wissenschafli i. (Nordlingen, 1886) 
pp. 605 sq.; K. O. Miiller, Die Dorier* 
(Breslau, 1844), " 483. The Pythian 
games, which appear to have been at 
first identical withjihe Delphic Festival 
of Crowning, were held originally at 
intervals of eight instead of four years. 
See the Scholiast on Pindar, Pyth. Ar- 
gum. p. 298, ed. A. Boeckh {Leipsic, 
1819) ; Censorinus, De die natatt, 
xviii. 6; compare Eustathius on Homer, 
Od. iii. 267, p. 1466. 29. As to the 
original identity of the Pythian games 
and the Festival of Crowning see Th, 
Schreiber, Apolkn Pythoktonos (Leip- 
sic, 1879), pp. 37 sq. ', A. B. Cook, 
"The European Sky-God," Folk-tore, 
xv. (1904) pp. 404 sq. 

2 Antonin Jaussen, Cotttumes det 
Arabes aupays de Moab (Paris, 1908), 
p. 3*2- 


flowers, leaves, and scented herbs not only at festivals but on other 
occasions which to the European might seem inappropriate for 
such gay ornaments. But in truth the bright blossoms and verdant 
foliage are not intended to decorate the wearer but to endow him 
with certain magical virtues, which are supposed to inhere in the 
flowers and leaves. Thus one man may be seen strutting about 
with a wreath of greenery which passes round his neck and droops 
over his shoulders, back, and breast. He is not a mere dandy, but 
a lover who hopes that the wreath will work as a charm on a 
woman's heart Again, another may be observed with a bunch of 
the red dracaena leaves knotted round his neck and the long stalk 
hanging down his back. He is a soldier, and these leaves are 
supposed to make him invulnerable. But if the lover should fail to 
win the affections of his swarthy mistress, if the warrior should be 
wounded in battle, it never occurs to either of them to question 
the magical virtue of the charm; they ascribe the failure either 
to the more potent charm of another magician or to some 
oversight on their own part 1 On the theory that wreaths and 
garlands serve as amulets to protect the wearer against the powers 
of evil we, can understand not only why in antiquity sacred 
persons such as priests and kings wore crowns, but also why 
dead bodies, sacrificial victims, and in certain circumstances even 
inanimate objects such as the implements of sacrifice, the doors 
of houses, and so forth, were decorated or rather guarded by 
wreaths. 2 Further, on this hypothesis we may perhaps perceive 
why children of living parents were specially chosen to cut or wear 
sacred wreaths. Since such children were apparently supposed to 
be endowed with a more than common share of vital energy, they 
might be deemed peculiarly fitted to make or wear amulets which 
were designed to protect the wearer from injury and death: the 
current of life which circulated in their own veins overflowed, as it 
were, and reinforced the magic virtue of the wreath. For the same 
reason such children would naturally be chosen to personate gods, 
as they seemingly were at Delphi and Thebes. 

At Ephesus, if we may trust the evidence of the Greek romance- 
writer, Heliodorus, a boy and girl of living parents^ used to hold for a 
year the priesthood of Apollo and Artemis respectively. When their acting 

1 R. Parkinson, Dreissigjahreinder 
Siidsee (Stuttgart, 1907), pp. 150-152. 

* On the use of crowns and wreaths 
in classical antiquity see W. Smith's 
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Anti- 
guituspi. 545 J^., j.#. "Corona**; 
E. Saglio, s. v. "Corona,** in Ch. Darem- 
berg et E. Saglio's Dictionnaire dts 
Antiqi&h Grecquts et Romaines, iiL 
1520 sqq. In time of mourning the 

ancients laid aside crowns (Athenaeus, 
xv. 1 6, p. 675 A) ; and so did the 
king at Athens when he tried a homi- 
cide (Aristotle, Constitution *f Athens^ 
57). I mention these cases because 
they seem to conflict with the theory 
in the text, in accordance with which 
crowns might be regarded as anmleti 
to protect the wearer against ghosti 
and the pollution of blood. 




be the 

priest and period of office was nearly expired, they led a sacred embassy to 
.** rj e i OS) the birthplace of the divine brother and sister, where they 
superintended the musical and athletic contests and laid down the 
Artemis, priesthood. 1 At Rome no girl might be chosen a Vestal Virgin 
At Rome unless both her father and mother were living ; 2 yet there is no 
tb *, v ? tals evidence or probability that a Vestal vacated office on the death of 
Salii must a P ar ^ nt \ indeed she generally held office for life. 3 This alone may 
" " suffice to prove that the custom of entrusting certain sacred duties 

to children of living parents was not based on any notion that 
orphans as such were ceremonially unclean. Again, the dancing 
alive at the priests of Mars, the Salii, must be sons of living parents ; 4 but as in 
date of the tne C3LBQ o f tne Vestals this condition probably only applied at the 
ecttoa " date of their election, for they seem like the Vestals to have held 
office for life. At all events we read of a lively old gentleman who 
still skipped and capered about as a dancing priest with an agility 
which threw the efforts of his younger colleagues into the shade. 5 
Again, at the public games in Rome boys of living parents had to 
escort the images of the gods in their sacred cars, and it was a dire 
omen if one of them relaxed his hold on the holy cart or let a strap 
Children of slip from his fingers. 6 And when the stout Roman heart was 
living shaken by the appalling news that somebody had been struck by 
employed lightning, that the sky had somewhere been suddenly overcast, or 
that a she-mule had been safely delivered of a colt, boys and girls 
whose fathers and mothers were still alive used to be sought out and 
employed to help in expiating the terrific prodigy. 7 Again, when 
the Capitol had been sacked and burned by the disorderly troops of 
Vitellius, solemn preparations were made to rebuild it. The whole 
area was enclosed by a cordon of fillets and wreaths. Then soldiers 
chosen for their auspicious names entered within the barriers holding 
branches of lucky trees in their hands ; and afterwards the Vestal 
Virgins, aided by boys and girls of living parents, washed the 
foundations with water drawn from springs and rivers. 8 In this 
ceremony the choice of such children seems to be based on the same 
idea as the choice of such water ; for as running water is deemed to 

in expia- 
tory rites 
at Rome. 

1 Heliodorus, Acthiopica^ i. 22. 

* Aulus Gellius, i. 12. 2. 

5 Dionysius Halicamasensis, Anti- 
quit. Rom, it 67 ; Plutarch, Numa, 
10. We read of a Vestal who held 
office for fifty -seven years (Tacitus, 
Annak) ii. 86). It is unlikely that 
the parents of this venerable lady were 
both alive at the date of her decease. 

4 Dionysius Halicaraasensis, Anti- 
qvti. Rom. ii. 71. 

* Macrobius, Sat. iii. 14. 14. That 
the rale as to their parents being both 
alive applied to the Vestals and Salii 

only at the time of their entrance 
on office is recognized by Marquardt 
(Romische StaatsMenjoaUung, iii. 2 228, 
note *). 

6 Cicero, De karuspicum response^ 

7 Livy, xxxvii.3; Macrobius, Saturn. 
i. 6. 13 sq. ; Vopiscus, Aurelianus, ig 
(where the words "patrimis matri- 
misque pueris carmen indicitc" are 
omitted from the text by H. Peter). 

8 Tacitus, Histor. iv. 53. For the 
sack and conflagration of the Capitol 
see id. iii. 71-75. 


be especially alive, 1 so the vital current might be thought to flow 
without interruption in the children of living parents but to stagnate 
in orphans. Hence the children of living parents rather than orphans 
would naturally be chosen to pour the living water over the founda- 
tions, and so to lend something of their own vitality or endurance to 
a building that was designed to last for ever. 

On the same principle we can easily understand why the Children 
children of living parents should be especially chosen to perform ** livin s 
certain offices at marriage. The motive of such a choice may be a SmSSjwd 
wish to ensure by sympathetic magic the life of the newly wedded at marriagt 
pair and of their offspring. Thus at Roman marriages the bride f 
was escorted to her new home by three boys whose parents were all 
living. Two of the boys held her, and the third carried a torch of Albania, 
buckthorn or hawthorn in front of her, 2 probably for the purpose 
of averting the powers of evil ; for buckthorn or hawthorn was 
credited with this magical virtue. 8 At marriages in ancient Athens 
a boy whose parents were both living used to wear a wreath of 
thorns and acorns and to carry about a winnowing-fan full of loaves, 
crying, "I have escaped the bad, I have found the better."* In 
modern Greece on the Sunday before a marriage the bridegroom 
sends to the bride the wedding cake by the hands of a boy, both of 
whose parents must be living. The messenger takes great care not 
to stumble or to injure the cake, for to do either would be a very 
bad omen. He may not enter the bride's house till she has taken 
the cake from him. For this purpose he lays it down on the 
threshold of the door, and then both of them, the boy and the 
bride, rush at it and try to seize the greater part of the cake. And 
when cattle are being slaughtered for the marriage festivities, the 
first beast killed for the bride's house must be killed by a youth 
whose parents are both alive. Further, a son of living parents must 
solemnly fetch the water with which the bridegroom's head is 
ceremonially washed by women before marriage. And on the day 
after the marriage bride and bridegroom go in procession to the 
well or spring from which they are henceforth to fetch their water. 
The bride greets the spring, drinks of the water from the hollow of 
her hand, and throws money and food into it Then follows a 
dance, accompanied by a song, round about the spring. Lastly, a 
lad whose parents are both living draws water from the spring in 
a special vessel and carries it to the house of the bridal pair without 
speaking a word : this " unspoken water," as it is called, is regarded 

1 Flowing water in Hebrew is * Zenobius, Prcroerb. iii. 98; Hut- 
called living water '* (o^rt n$). arch, Proverb. L 16; Apostdiog, 

Proverb. viiL 16 

ed. C O. MUller (Leipsic, 1839), pp. Graeci, ed. Leutsch et SchneHewin, I 

244, 245, s.v. "Patrimi et matrimi 82, 323 if., u. 429) ; EustathiHS, OB 

pueri." Homer, Qd* xii. 357, p. 

3 Ovid, Fasti* vi. 129 sq., 165-168. Photius, Ltxtcm, *.. 



as peculiarly holy and wholesome. When the young couple return 
from the spring, they fill their mouths with the "unspoken water " 
and try to spirt it on each other inside the door of the house. 1 In 
Albania, when women are baking cakes for a wedding, the first to 
put hand to the dough must be a maiden whose parents are both 
alive and who has brothers, the more the better \ for only such a 
girl is deemed lucky. And when the bride has dismounted from 
her horse at the bridegroom's door, a small boy whose parents are 
both alive (for only such a boy is thought to bring luck) is passed 
thrice backwards and forwards under the horse's belly, as if he 
would girdle the beast 2 Among the South Slavs of Bulgaria a 
little child whose father and mother are both alive helps to bake the 
two bridal cakes, pouring water and salt on the meal and stirring 
the mixture with a spurtle of a special shape ; then a girl lifts the 
child in her arms, and the little one touches the roof-beam thrice 
with the spurtle, saying, " Boys and girls." And when the bride's 
hair is to be dressed for the wedding day, the work of combing and 
plaiting it must be begun by a child of living parents. 3 Among the 
Eesa and Gadabursi, two Somali tribes, on the morning after a 
marriage " the bride's female relations bring presents of milk, and 
are accompanied by a young male child whose parents are living. 
The child drinks some of the milk before any one else tastes it ; 
and after him the bridegroom, if his parents are living j but if one 
or both of his parents are dead, and those of the bride living, she 
drinks after the child. By doing this they believe that if the newly- 
married woman bears a child the father will be alive at the time/'* 
A slightly different application of the same principle appears in 
the old Hindoo rule that when a bride reached the house of her 
husband, she should be made to descend from the chariot by women 
of good character whose husbands and sons were living, and that 
afterwards these women should seat the bride on a bull's hide, while 
her husband recited the verse, " Here ye cows, bring forth calves." B 
Here the ceremony of seating the young wife on a bull's hide seems 
plainly intended to make her fruitful through the generative virtue 
of the bull ; while the attendance of women, whose husbands and 
sons are living, is no doubt a device for ensuring, by sympathetic 
magic, the life both of the bride's husband and of her future off- 

1 C. Wachsmuth, Das alte Griechen- of the Western Somali Tribes," Tht 
land im neucn (Bonn, 1864), pp. 83- Folk-lore Journal^ vi. (1888) p. 124. 
85, 86, 87, loo sf. " Compare Ph. Paulitschke, Etkno- 

2 J. G. von Hahn, AJbantsische graphie Nordost-Afrikas> die materuttt 
Studim (Jena, 1854), i- '44 146- Cultur dcr Dandkil, Galla und SomAl 

* F. S. Krauss, Sittt und Branch (Berlin, 1893), p. 200. 

tier Sud-Slaven (Vienna, 1885), pp. 6 The Grihya-S&tras, translated by 

438, 441. H. Oldenberg, Part ii. (Oxford, 1892) 

* Captain J. S. King, ' Notes on p. 50 (Tht Sacred Books of the 
the Folk-lore and some Social Customs vol. xxz.). 


In the Somali custom just described the part played by the child Children 
of living parents is unambiguous and helps to throw light on the of livin s 
obscurer cases which precede. Such a child is clearly supposed to ^arentl 
impart the virtue of longevity to the milk of which it partakes, and supposed 
so 'to transmit it to the newly married pair who afterwards drink of *p i 
the milk. Similarly, we may suppose that in all marriage rites at 
least, if not in religious rites generally, the employment of children 
of living parents is intended to diffuse by sympathy the blessings of 
life and longevity among all who participate in the ceremonies. 
This intention seems to underlie the use which the Malagasy make 
of the children of living parents in ritual. Thus, when a child is a 
week old, it is dressed up in the finest clothes that can be got, and 
is then carried out of the house by some person whose parents are 
both still living ; afterwards it is brought back to the mother. In 
the act of being carried out and in, the infant must be twice care- 
fully lifted over the fire, which is placed near the door. If the 
child is a boy, the axe, knife, and spear of the family, together with 
any building tools that may be in the house, are taken out of it at 
the same time. "The implements are perhaps used chiefly as 
emblems of the occupations in which it is expected the infant will 
engage when it arrives at maturer years ; and the whole may be 
regarded as expressing the hopes cherished of his activity, wealth, 
and enjoyments." l On such an occasion the service of a person 
whose parents are both alive seems naturally calculated to promote 
the longevity of the infant For a like reason, probably, the holy 
water used at the Malagasy ceremony of circumcision is drawn from 
a pool by a person whose parents are both still living. 2 The same Child of 
idea may explain a funeral custom observed by the Sihanaka of livm s 
Madagascar. After a burial the family of the deceased, with their S^ yed 
near relatives and dependents, meet in the house from which the in funeral 
corpse was lately removed " to drink rum and to undergo a purifying ntcs - 
and preserving baptism called fofy r&nom-bbahangy. Leaves of the 
lemon or lime tree, and the stalks of two kinds of grass, are gathered 
and placed in a vessel with water. A person, both of whose parents 
are living, is chosen to perform the rite, and this * holy water ' is then 
sprinkled upon the walls of the house and upon all assembled within 
them, and finally around the house outside." * Here a person whose 
parents are both living appears to be credited with a more than 
common share of life and longevity ; from which it naturally follows 
that he is better fitted than any one else to perform a ceremony 
intended to avert the danger of death from the household. 

The notion that a child of living parents is endowed with a 

1 Rev. William Ellis, History tf Sihanaka," The Antananarivo Annual 

Madagascar (London, N.D.), i. l$i Jy* and Madagascar Magaxmt, vol. ii. (ft 

* Rev. W. Ellis, op. cit. i. 1 80. reprint of the second four numbers, 

3 J. Pearse, "Customs connected 1881-1884) (Antananarivo, 1896) p. 

with Death and Burial among the 152. 



won ii 

The use 
of children 
of living 
parents in 
ritual may 
be ex- 
plained by 
a notion 
that they 
are fuller 
of life and 

higher degree of vitality than an orphan probably explains all the 
cases of the employment of such a child in ritual, whether the 
particular rite is designed to ensure the fertility of the ground or 
the fruitfuiness of women, or to avert the danger of death and 
other calamities. Yet it might be a mistake to suppose that this 
notion is always clearly apprehended by the persons who practise 
the customs. In their minds the definite conception of super- 
abundant and overflowing vitality may easily dissolve into a vague 
idea that the child of living parents is luckier than other folk. No 
more than this seems to be at the bottom of the Masai rule that 
when the warriors wish to select a chief, they must choose " a man 
whose parents are still living, who owns cattle and has never killed 
anybody, whose parents are not blind, and who himself has not a 
discoloured eye." 1 And nothing more is needed to explain the 
ancient GreeV custom which assigned the duty of drawing lots from 
an urn to a boy under puberty whose father and mother were both 
in life. 2 At Athens it would appear that registers of these boys 
were kept, perhaps in order that the lads might discharge, as 
occasion arose, those offices of religion which required the service 
of such auspicious youths. 8 The atrocious tyrant Heliogabalus, one 
of the worst monsters who ever disgraced the human form, caused 
search to be made throughout Italy for noble and handsome boys 
whose parents were both alive, and he sacrificed them to his barbarous 
gods, torturing them first and grabbling among their entrails after- 
wards for omens. He seems to have thought that such victims 
would be peculiarly acceptable to the Syrian deities whom he 
worshipped ; so he encouraged the torturers and butchers at their 
work, and thanked the gods for enabling him to ferret out "their 
friends." 4 

1 A. C. Hollis, The Masai (Oxford, Grtcques, Supplement, L (Paris, 1912) 

I 95)> P- 2 99 p- 104, No. 1544. 

* trttcian, Hermotimus, 57. 4 Aelius Lampridius, Antoninus 

8 A fragmentary list of these youths Heliogabalus, viii. I sq. The historian 

is preserved in an Athenian inscrip- thinks that the monster chose these 

tion of the year 91 or 90 B.C. See victims merely for the pleasure of 

Ch. Michel* RtcueU d 1 Inscriptions rending the hearts of both the parents. 



THE tradition that a Lydian king tried to make the citadel of Sardes The 
impregnable by carrying round it a lion l may perhaps be illustrated Bechuana* 
by a South African custom. When the Bechuanas are about to JJj^Jf & 
found a new town, they observe an elaborate ritual. They choose sacrificial 
a bull from the herd, sew up its eyelids with sinew, and then allow ox at . 
the blinded animal to wander at will for four days. On the fifth 
day they track it down and sacrifice it at sunset on the spot where 
it happens to be standing. The carcase is then roasted whole and 
divided among the people. Ritual requires that every particle of 
the flesh should be consumed on the spot. When the sacrificial 
meal is over, the medicine-men take the hide and mark it with 
appropriate medicines, the composition of which is a professional 
secret Then with one long spiral cut they convert the whole hide 
into a single thong. Having done so they cut up the thong into 
lengths of about two feet and despatch messengers in all directions 
to peg down one of those strips in each of the paths leading to the 
new town. " After this," it is said, " if a foreigner approaches the 
new town to destroy it with his charms, he will find that the town 
has prepared itself for his coming." 2 Thus it would seem that the 
pastoral Bechuanas attempt to place a new town under the protec- 
tion of one of their sacred cattle 3 by distributing pieces of its hide 
at all points where an enemy could approach it, just as the Lydian 
king thought to place the citadel of his capital under the protection 
of the lion-god by carrying the animal round the boundaries. 

Further, the Bechuana custom may throw light on a widespread The 
legend which relates how a wily settler in a new country bought ^ 
from the natives as much land as could be covered with a hide, and t fae legend 
how he then proceeded to cut the hide into thongs and to claim of the 
as much land as could be enclosed by the thongs. It was thus, 

1 See above, vol. i. p. 184. * For more evidence of the sanctity 

* Rev. W. C Willoughby, "Note* of cattle among the Bedmanas see the 

on the Totemism of the Becwana," Rev, W. C Wilkmghby, #fr cit. pp. 

Journal of the Anthropological Instit-utty 301 

xxxv. (1905) pp. 303 jf. 





The ox 
whose hide 
is used is 
blinded in 
order that 
the new- 
may be 
to its 

according to the Hottentots, that the first European settlers obtained 
a footing in South Africa. 1 But the most familiar example of such 
stories is the tradition that Dido procured the site of Carthage 
in this fashion, and that the place hence received the name of Byrsa 
or "hide." 2 Similar tales occur in the legendary history of Saxons 
and Danes, 3 and they meet us in India, Siberia, Burma, Cambodia, 
Java, and Bali. 4 The wide diffusion of such stories confirms the 
conjecture of Jacob Grimm that in them we have a reminiscence 
of a mode of land measurement which was once actually in use 
and of which the designation is still retained in the English hide* 
The Bechuana custom suggests that the mode of measuring by 
a hide may have originated in a practice of encompassing a piece of 
land with thongs cut from the hide of a sacrificial victim in order to 
place the ground under the guardianship of the sacred animal. 

But why do the Bechuanas sew up the eyelids of the bull which 
is to be used for this purpose ? The answer appears to be given by 
the ceremonies which the same people observe when they are going 
out to war. On that occasion a woman rushes up to the army with 
her eyes shut and shakes a winnowing-fan, while she cries out, " The 
army is not seen ! The army is not seen 1 " And a medicine-man 
at the same time sprinkles medicine over the spears, crying out 
in like manner, " The army is not seen ! The army is not seen ! " 
After that they seize a bull, sew up its eyelids with a hair of its tail, 
and drive it for some distance along the road which the army is to 
take. When it has preceded the army a little way, the bull is sacri- 
ficed, roasted whole, and eaten by the warriors. All the flesh must 
be consumed on the spot. Such parts as cannot be eaten are burnt 
with fire. Only the contents of the stomach are carefully preserved 

1 T. Arbousset et F. Daumas, Voyage 
d? Exploration au Nord-est de la Colanu 
du Cap de Bonne -Esptrance (Paris, 
1842), p. 49. 

2 Virgil, Aen. i. 367 s?., with the 
commentary of Servius j Justin, xviii. 
5. 9. Thongs cut from the hide of the 
ox sacrificed to the four-handed Apollo 
were given as prizes. See Hesychius, 
s.v. Kwaxlas; compare u, irv/wiXo^ot. 
Whether the Greek custom was related 
to those discussed in the text seems 
doubtful. I have to thank my colleague 
and friend Professor R. C. Bosanquet 
for calling my attention to these passages 
of Hesychius. 

3 Saxo Grammaticus, Bistoria Da- 
*icat ix. vol. i. pp. 462 sq. ed. P. 
E, Mttller (Copenhagen, 1839-1858) 
(where the hide employed is that of a 
horse) ; J, Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalter* 
tk&mer* (Gottingen, 1881), pp. 90 jy. 

Compare R. Kohler, "Sage von Land- 
erwerbung durch zerschnittene Haute," 
Orient und Occident, iii. 185-187. 

4 Lieutenant -Colonel James Tod, 
Annals and Antiquities of Rajas? han % 
ii. (London, 1832) p. 235 ; W. Rad- 
loff, Proben der Volkslitteratur der 
tiirkischen Stamme Sud-Sibiriens, iv. 
(St. Petersburg, 1872) p. 179 ; A. 
Bastian, Die Voelker des oestlichen Asien 
(Leipzig, Jena, 1866-1871), i. 25, iv. 
367 sq. ; T. Stamford Raffles, History 
of Java (London, 1817), ii. 153 sq*\ 
R. van Eck, " Schetsen van het eiland 
Bali," Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch- 
Indie, Feb. 1880, p. 117. The sub- 
stance of all these stories, except the 
first, was given by me in a note on 
" Hide-measured Lands," The Classi- 
cal Review, ii. (1888) p. 322. 

6 J. Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalter- 
thumer, pp. 538 sy. 


as a charm which is to lead the warriors to victory. Chosen men 
carry the precious guts in front of the army, and it is deemed most 
important that no one should precede them. When they stop, the 
army stops, and it will not resume the march till it sees that the 
men with the bull's guts have gone forward. 1 The meaning of these 
ceremonies is explained by the cries of the woman and the priest, 
" The army is not seen ! The army is not seen ! " Clearly it is 
desirable that the army should not be perceived by the enemies 
until it is upon them. Accordingly on the principles of homoeopathic 
magic the Bechuanas apparently imagine that they can make them- 
selves invisible by eating of the flesh of a blind bull, blindness and 
invisibility being to their simple minds the same thing. For the 
same reason the bowels of the blind ox are carried in front of the 
army to hide its advance from hostile eyes. In like manner the 
custom of sacrificing and eating a blind ox on the place where 
a new town is to be built may be intended to render the town 
invisible to enemies. At all events the Bawenda, a South African 
people who belong to the same Bantu stock as the Bechuanas, take 
great pains to conceal their kraals from passers-by. The kraals are 
built in the forest or bush, and the long winding footpaths which 
lead to them are often kept open only by the support of a single 
pole here and there. Indeed the paths are so low and narrow that 
it is very difficult to bring a horse into such a village. In time 
of war the poles are removed and the thorny creepers fall down, 
forming a natural screen or bulwark which the enemy can neither 
penetrate nor destroy by fire. The kraals are also surrounded by 
walls of undressed stones with a filling of soil ; and to hide them 
still better from the view of the enemy the tops of the walls are 
sown with Indian corn or planted with tobacco. Hence travellers 
passing through the country seldom come across a Bawenda kraal 
To see where the Bawenda dwell you must climb to the tops of 
mountains and look down on the roofs of their round huts peeping 
out of the surrounding green like clusters of mushrooms in the 
woods. 2 The object which the Bawenda attain by these perfectly 
rational means, the Bechuanas seek to compass by the sacrifice and 
consumption of a blind bull. 

This explanation of the use of a blinded ox in sacrifice is Thisat- 
confirmed by the reasons alleged by a Caffre for the observance of 
a somewhat similar custom in purificatory ceremonies after a battle. 

On these occasions the Bechuanas and other Caffre tribes of South Winded oa 
Africa kill a black ox and cut out the tip of its tongue, an eye, j 
a piece of the ham-string, and a piece of the principal sinew of the a 

* Rev, W. C- Wffloughby, "Notes Rev. E. GottschKng, "The Ba- 

on the Totemism of the Becwana," wenda, a Sketch of their Histoiy and 

Journal of the Anthropological Institute, Customs, "Journal ef th* Antkrp&l*&- 

xxxv. (1905) p. 304. fal Institute, xxxr. (I9J) PP* 


shoulder. These parts are fried with certain herbs and rubbed into 
the joints of the warriors. By cutting out the tongue of the ox they 
think to prevent the enemy from wagging his tongue against them ; 
by severing the sinews of the ox they hope to cause the enemy's 
sinews to fail him in the battle ; and by removing the eye of the ox 
they imagine that they prevent the enemy from casting a covetous 
eye on their cattle. 1 

1 T. Arbousset et F. Daumas, Relation d'un Voyage d' Exploration, pp. 



WE have seen that the state of society and religion among the Pelew 
Islanders in modern times presents several points of similarity to 
the condition of the peoples about the Eastern Mediterranean in 
antiquity. 1 Here I propose briefly to call attention to certain other 
customs of the Pelew Islanders which may serve to illustrate some of 
the institutions discussed in this volume. 

i. Priests dressed as Women 

In the Pelew Islands it often happens that a goddess chooses In the 
a man, not a woman, for her minister and inspired mouthpiece. 
When that is so, the favoured man is thenceforth regarded and 
treated as a woman. He wears female attire, he carries a piece of inspired by 
gold on his neck, he labours like a woman in the taro fields, and he a 
plays his new part so well that he earns the hearty contempt of his 
fellows. 2 The pretended change of sex under the inspiration of a attire and 
female spirit perhaps explains a custom widely spread among * 
savages, in accordance with which some men dress as women and 

act as women through life. These unsexed creatures often, perhaps This 
generally, profess the arts of sorcery and healing, they communicate 
with spirits, and are regarded sometimes with awe and sometimes 

with contempt, as beings of a higher or lower order than common the 
folk. Often they are dedicated and trained to their vocation 
from childhood. Effeminate sorcerers or priests of this sort are 



found among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo, 3 the Bugis of South xpiam & 

1 Above, pp. 204 

J. Kubary, "Die Religion der 
Pelauer," in A. Bastian's Allerlei aus 
Volks- und Menschenkunde (Berlin, 
1888), L 35. 

3 C. A. L. M. Schwaner, Borneo 

(Amsterdam, 1853), * l86 M - T * H - 
Perelacr, Ethnographiscke Beschrijving 
dtr Dajaks (Zalt-Bommel, 1870), pp. 

32-35 ; Captain Rodney Mundy, Nar- 
rative, of Events in Borneo and 
Celebes from the Jowrnetis tf James 
Brooke^ Esq.^ Rafak of Sermoek 
(London, 1848), ii. 65 s?. 


Brooke, Ten Years m S<ara*t4 (Lon- 
don, 1866), iL 280; H, Low, 
Sarawak (London, 1848), pp. 174-177 1 
The Bishop of Labuan, "OB the Wild 


men dress 
and live 


widespread Celebes, 1 the Patagonians of South America, 2 and the Aleutians and 
many Indian tribes of North America. 8 In the island of Rambree, off 
the coast of Aracan, a set of vagabond " conjurors, 1 ' who dressed and 
lived as women, used to dance round a tall pole, invoking the aid of 
their favourite idol on the occasion of any calamity. 4 Male members 
of the Vallabha sect in India often seek to win the favour of the god 
Krishna, whom they specially revere, by wearing their hair long and 
assimilating themselves to women; even their spiritual chiefs, the 
so-called Maharajas, sometimes simulate the appearance of women 
when they lead the worship of their followers. 5 In Madagascar we 
hear of effeminate men who wore female attire and acted as women, 
thinking thereby to do God service. 6 In the kingdom of Congo 
there was a sacrificial priest who commonly dressed as a woman and 

Tribes of the North- West Coast of 
Borneo," Transactions of the Ethno- 
logical Society ^f London^ N.S. ii. 
(1863) pp. 31 sq. ; Spenser St. John, 
Life in the Forests of the Far East* 
(London, 1863), i. 73. In Sarawak 
these men are called manangs, in Dutch 
Borneo they are called bazirs or 

1 Captain R. Mundy, op. at. i. 82 
sq. ; B. F. Matthes, Over de Bissoes of 
heidensche Priesters en Priesteressen 
der Boeginezen (Amsterdam, 1872), 
pp. I sq. 

1 Th. Falkner, Description of Pata- 
gonia .(Hereford, 1774), p. 117; J- 
Hutchinson, " The Tehuelche Indians 
of Patagonia," Transactions of the 
Ethnological Society of London, N.S. 
vii. (1869) p. 323. Among the 
Guaycurus of Southern Brazil there is 
a class of men who dress as women and 
do only women's work, such as spinning, 
weaving, and making pottery. But so 
far as I know, they are not said to be 
sorcerers or priests. See C. F. Ph. v. 
Martius, Zur Ethnographie Amerikas 
zumal Brasiliens (Leipsic, 1867)) pp. 

74 ^ 

3 G. H. von Langsdorff, Reise um 

die Welt (Frankfort, 1812), ii. 43; 

H. J. Holmberg, tfber die Volker 

des Russischen Amerika," Acta SocU- 

tatis Scientiarum Fennicae t iv. (Hels- 

ingfors, 1856) pp. 400 sq. ; W. H.Dall, 

Alaska (London, 1870), pp. 402 sq. ; 

Ross Cox, TheColumbia Jftevr*(Londoii, 

1832 ) i. 327 sqq. ; Father G. Boscana, 

" Chinigchinich," in [A. Robinson's] 

Life in California (New York, 1846), 

pp. 283 sq. ; S. Powers, Tribes oj 
California (Washington, 1877), pp. 
132 sq. ; H. H. Bancroft, Native 
Races of the Pacific States (London, 
1875-1876), i. 82, 92, 415, 585, 774; 
Hontan, Mfmoires de PAmeriqut 
Septentrionale (Amsterdam, 1705), p. 
144; J. F. Lafitau, Mtsurs des Salvages 
Amiriquains (Paris, 1724), i. 52-54; 
Charlevoix, Histoire de la Nouvelle 
France (Paris, 1744), vi. 4 sq. ; W. 
H. Keating, Expedition to the Source 
of St. Peter's River (London, 1825), 
i. 227 sq., 436 ; George Catlin, North 
American Indians* (London, 1844), 
ii. 214 sq. ; Maximilian Prinz zu Wied, 
Rdse in das innere Word - America 
(Coblentz, 1839-1841), ii. 132 sq. ; 
D. G. Brinton, The Len&pi and their 
Legends (Philadelphia, 1885), pp. 109 
jy- ; J- G. Mittler, Geschichte der 
amerikanischen Urreligionen * (Bile, 
167), pp. 44 sq., 418. Among the 
tribes which permitted the custom were 
the Illinois, Mandans, Dacotas (Sioux), 
Sauks, and Foxes, to the east of the 
Rocky Mountains, the Yukis, Pomos, 
and Pitt River Indians of California, 
and the Koniags of Alaska. 

* Lieut. W. Foley, "Journal of a 
Tour through the Island of Rambree,'* 
Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 
iv. (Calcutta, 1835) p. 199. 

5 Monier Williams, Religious Life 
and Thought in India (London, 1883), 
p. 136. Compare J* A. Dubois, 
Mceurs, Institutions, et Cerf monies des 
Peuples de tlnde (Paris, 1825), i. 439- 

(Amsterdam, 1686), p. 467. 




gloried in the title of the Grandmother. The post of Grandmother 
must have been much coveted, for the incumbent might not be put 
to death, whatever crimes or rascalities he committed; and to 
do him justice he appears commonly to have taken full advantage 
of this benefit of clergy. When he died, his fortunate successor 
dissected the body of the deceased Grandmother, extracting his 
heart and other vital organs, and amputating his fingers and toes, 
which he kept as priceless relics, and sold as sovereign remedies 
for all the ills that flesh is heir to. 1 

We may conjecture that in many of these cases the call to this Such trans 
strange form of the religious life came in the shape of a dream or for 10 ^ * 8 
vision, in which the dreamer or visionary imagined himself to be have been 
a woman or to be possessed by a female spirit; for with many often 
savage races the disordered fancies of sleep or ecstasy are accepted f 41 * p 11 * 
as oracular admonitions which it would be perilous to disregard. ence to " 
At all events we are told that a dream or a revelation of some sort intimations 
was the reason which in North America these men-women com- ***&*& "* 
monly alleged for the life they led ; it had been thus brought home - m ecstasy, 
to them, they said, that their medicine or their salvation lay in 
living as women, and when once they had got this notion into their 
head nothing could drive it out again. Many an Indian father 
attempted by persuasion, by bribes, by violence, to deter his son from 
obeying the mysterious call, but all to no purpose. 8 Among the 
Sauks, an Indian tribe of North America, these effeminate beings 
were always despised, but sometimes they were pitied "as labouring 
under an unfortunate destiny which they cannot avoid, being 
supposed to be impelled to this course by a vision from the female 
spirit that resides in the moon." 3 Similarly the Omahas, another 

1 J. B. Labat, Relation historiq-ue 
de FEtkiopie Occidental (Paris, 1732), 
ii. 195-199. Wherever men regularly 
dress as women, we may suspect that 
a superstitious motive underlies the 
custom even though our authorities do 
not mention it. The custom is thus 
reported among the Italmenes of 
Kamtschatka (G. W. Steller, Besckrei- 
bung von dem Lande Kamtsckatka, 
Frankfort and Leipsic, 1774, pp. 350 
sq. ), the Lhoosais of South - Eastern 
India (Capt. T. H. Lewin, Wild Races 
of South-Eastern IncKct t London, 1870, 
P. 255), and the Nogay or Mongutay 
of the Caucasus (J. Reinegg, Beschrei- 
bung des Jaukasus t St. Petersburg, 
Gotha, and Hildesheim, 1796-1797, 
i 270). Among the Lhoosais or 
Lushais not only do men sometimes 
dress like women and consort and 
work with them (T. H. Lewin, 

I.e.], but, on the other band, women 
sometimes dress and live like men, 
adopting masculine habits in all 
respects. When one of these unsexed 
women was asked her reasons for 
adopting a masculine mode of life, she 
at first denied that she was a woman, 
but finally confessed "that her khua- 
vang was not good, and so she became 
a man*'* See the extract from the 
Pioneer Mail of May 1890, quoted in 
The Indian Antiquary, xxxii. (1903) 
p. 413. The permanent transforma- 
tion of women into men seems to be 
much rarer than the converse change 
of men into women. 

* Maximilian Prinz zu Wwsd, Rem 
in das innere Nord- America ^ iL 133. 

* W. H. Keating, Expedition ** 
the Source if St. P*tei>* Rvwr> i 2*7 


Indian tribe of North America, " believe that the unfortunate beings, 
called Min-gu-ga, are mysterious or sacred because they have been 
affected by the Moon Being. When a young Omaha fasted for 
the first time on reaching puberty, it was thought that the Moon 
Being appeared to him, holding in one hand a bow and arrows and 
in the other a pack strap, such as the Indian women use. When 
the youth tried to grasp the bow and arrows the Moon Being 
crossed his hands very quickly, and if the youth was not very careful 
he seized the pack strap instead of the bow and arrows, thereby 
fixing his lot in after life. In such a case he could not help acting 
the woman, speaking, dressing, and working just as Indian women 
Trans- used to do." l Among the Ibans or Sea Dyaks of Borneo the 
formed highest class of sorcerers or medicine-men (manangs) are those who 
medicine- are k e ij eve( j t have been transformed into women. Such a man is 
among the therefore called a "changed medicine - man " (manang bait) on 
Sea Dyaks. account of his supposed change of sex. The call to transform him- 
self into a woman is said to come as a supernatural command thrice 
repeated in dreams ; to disregard the command would mean death. 
Accordingly he makes a feast, sacrifices a pig or two to avert evil 
consequences from the tribe, and then assumes the garb of a woman. 
Thenceforth he is treated as a woman and occupies himself in 
feminine pursuits. His chief aim is to copy female manners and 
habits as accurately as possible. He is employed for the same 
purposes as an ordinary medicine-man and his methods are similar, 
but he is paid much higher fees and is often called in when others 
Trans- have been unable to effect a cure. 2 Similarly among the Chuk- 
formed c hees of North-Eastern Asia there are shamans or medicine-men 
medicine- ^ o assimilate themselves as far as possible to women, and who are 
among the believed to be called to this vocation by spirits in a dream. The 
Chukcbfies. ^ii USU ally comes at the critical age of early youth when the 
shamanistic inspiration, as it is called, first manifests itself. But the 
call is much dreaded by the youthful adepts, and some of them 
prefer death to obedience. There are, however, various stages or 
degrees of transformation. In the first stage the man apes a 
woman only in the manner of braiding and arranging the hair of his 
head, In the second he dons female attire ; in the third stage he 
adopts as far as possible the life and characteristics of the female 
sex. A young man who is undergoing this final transformation 
abandons all masculine occupations and manners. He throws away 
the rifle and the lance, the lasso of the reindeer herdsman, and the 
harpoon of the seal-hunter, and betakes himself to the needle and 
the skin -scraper instead He learns the use of them quickly, 

1 Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, "A Study among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo (Lon- 

of Siouan Cults," Eleventh Annual don, 1911), p. 179; Ch. Hose and 

Report of the Bureau of Ethnology W. McDougall, The Pagan Tribes of 

(Washington, 1894), p. 378. Borneo (London, 1912), ii. 116. 

1 E, H. Gomes, Seventeen Years 




because the spirits are helping him all the time. Even his pro- 
nunciation changes from the male to the female mode. At the 
same time his body alters, if not in outward appearance, at least in 
its faculties and forces. He loses masculine strength, fleetness of 
foot, endurance in wrestling, and falls into the debility and helpless- 
ness of a woman. Even his mental character undergoes a change. 
His old brute courage and righting spirit are gone ; he grows shy and 
bashful before strangers, fond of small talk and of dandling little 
children. In short he becomes a woman with the appearance of a 
man, and as a woman he is often taken to wife by another man, 
with whom he leads a regular married life. Extraordinary powers 
are attributed to such transformed shamans. They are supposed to 
enjoy the special protection of spirits who play the part of super- 
natural husbands to them. Hence they are much dreaded even by 
their colleagues in the profession who remain mere men ; hence, 
too, they excel in all branches of magic, including ventriloquism. 1 
Among the Teso of Central Africa medicine-men often dress as 
women and wear feminine ornaments, such as heavy chains of beads 
and shells round their heads and necks. 3 

And just as a man inspired by a goddess may adopt female Women 
attire, so conversely a woman inspired by a god may adopt male 
costume. In Uganda the great god Mukasa, the deity of the Victoria 
Nyanza Lake and of abundance, imparted his oracles through a men. 
woman, who in ordinary life dressed like the rest of her sex in a 
bark cloth wrapped round the body and fastened with a girdle, so as 
to leave the arms and shoulders bare ; but when she prophesied under 
the inspiration of the god, she wore two bark cloths knotted in mascu- 
line style over her shoulders and crossing each other on her breast and 
back. 8 When once the god had chosen her, she retained office for life ; 
she might not marry or converse with any man except one particular 
priest, who was always present when she was possessed by the deity. 4 

Perhaps this assumed change of sex under the inspiration of The 
a goddess may give the key to the legends of the effeminate fa* ?!** 
Sardanapalus and the effeminate Hercules, 6 as well as to the practice 

of the effeminate priests of Cybele and the Syrian goddess* In all spirit 

1 Waldemar Bogoras, The Ckukchee 
(Leyden and New York, 1904-1909), 
pp. 448-453 (Thejtsup North Pacific 
Expedition^ voL vii. ; Memoir of 
the American Museum of Natural 

* Rev, A. L. Kitching, On ih* 
Backwaters of thtNik (London, 1912), 
p. 239, with the plate. 

8 For this information I have to 
thank my friend the Rev. J. Roscoe, 
He tells me that according to tradition 
Mukasa used to give his oracles by the 

mouth of a man, not of a woman. To 
wear two bark cloths, one on each 
shoulder, is a privilege of royalty and 
of priests. The ordinary man wears a 
single bark cloth knotted on one 
shoulder only. With the single excep- 
tion mentioned in the text, women in 
Uganda never wear bark cloths fastened 
over the shoulders, 

* Rev. J. Roscoe, TJU 
(London, 1911), p. 297* 

* Tht Scapegoat t pp. 387 Jgf 

the legends 
of the 
and the 
both of 
whom may 
have been 


to be 


by the 





or her 



such cases the pretended transformation of a man into a woman 
would be intelligible if we supposed that the womanish priest or king 
thought himself animated by a female spirit, whose sex, accordingly, 
he felt bound to imitate. Certainly the eunuch priests of Cybele 
seem to have bereft themselves of their manhood under the 
supposed inspiration of the Great Goddess. 1 The priest of Hercules 
at Antimachia, in Cos, who dressed as a woman when he offered 
sacrifice, is said to have done so in imitation of Hercules who 
disguised himself as a woman to escape the pursuit of his enemies. 2 
So the Lydian Hercules wore female attire when he served for 
three years as the purchased slave of the imperious Omphale, 
Queen of Lydia. 8 If we suppose that Queen Omphale, like Queen 
Semiramis, was nothing but the great Asiatic goddess, 4 or one of 
her Avatars, it becomes probable that the story of the womanish 
Hercules of Lydia preserves a reminiscence of a line or college of 
effeminate priests who, like the eunuch priests of the Syrian goddess, 
dressed as women in imitation of their goddess and were supposed 
to be inspired by her. The probability is increased by the practice 
of the priests of Hercules at Antimachia, in Cos, who, as we have just 
seen, actually wore female attire when they were engaged in their sacred 
duties. Similarly at the vernal mysteries of H ercules in Rome the men 
were draped in the garments of women ; 5 and in some of the rites 
and processions of Dionysus also men wore female attire, 6 In 

Yet at Rome, by an apparent contra- 
diction, women might not be present 
at a sacrifice offered to Hercules 
(Propertius, v. 9. 67-70; see further 
above, vol. i. p. 113, note 1 ), and 
at Gades women might not enter 
the temple of Melcarth, the Tyrian 
Hercules (Silius Italicus, iii 22). 
There was a Greek proverb, "A 
woman does not go to a temple 
of Hercules" (Macarius, Cent. iii. 1 1 ; 
Paroemiographi Graeti, ed. Leutsch et 
Schneidewin, i. 392,11- 154). Roman 
women did not swear by Hercules 
(Aulus Gellius, xi. 6). 

* Lucian, Calumniae non temere ere- 
dendum, 1 6 ; Hesychius and Suidas, 
s.v. 'I0tf<aXXoi. At the Athenian vint- 
age festival of the Oschophoria a chorus 
of singers was led in procession by two 
young men dressed exactly like girls ; 
they carried branches of vines laden with 
ripe clusters. The procession was said 
to be in honour of Dionysus and Athena 
or Ariadne. See Proclus, quoted by 
Photius, Bibliotheca, p. 3220, ed. I. 
Bekkcr (Berlin, 1824) 5 Plutarch, 

1 Catullus, Ixiii. This is in sub- 
stance the explanation of the custom 
given by Dr. L. R. Farnell, who 
observes that "the mad worshipper 
endeavoured thus against nature to 
assimilate himself more closely to his 
goddess" ("Sociological hypotheses 
concerning the position of women in 
ancient religion," Arcbiv f&r Religions* 
wissenschaftj vii (1904) p. 93). The 
theory is not necessarily inconsistent 
with my conjecture as to the magical 
use made of the severed parts. See 
above, vol. i. pp. 268 sq. 

1 Plutarch, Quaestionts Graecae, 58. 

* Apollodoras, Bibliotheca, ii. 6. 2 
jy. j Athenaeus, xiL 1 1, pp. 515 F- 
516 B; Diodorus Siculus, iv. 31; 
Joannes Lydus, De magistratibus> ill 
64 ; Lucian, Dialogi deorum, xiii. 2 ; 
Ovid, Heroidcs^ be. 55 sqq.; Statius, 
Tkcb. x. 646-649. 

* On Semiramis in this character see 
above, vol. i. pp. 176 sg. ; The Scape- 

8**, pp. 3^9 *99* 

* Joannes Lydus, De mens&us t iv. 
46, p. 8i ed L Bekker (Boon, 1837). 




legend and art there are clear traces of an effeminate Dionysus, who 
perhaps figured in a strange ceremony for the artificial fertilization of 
the fig. 1 Among the Nahanarvals, an ancient German tribe, a priest 
garbed as a woman presided over a sacred grove. 2 These and similar 
practices 8 need not necessarily have any connexion with the social 
system of mother-kin. Wherever a goddess is revered and the theory 
of inspiration is held, a man may be thought to be possessed by a 
female spirit, whether society be organized on mother-kin or on 
father-kin. Still the chances of such a transformation of sex will 
be greater under mother-kin than under father-kin if, as we have 
found reason to believe, a system of mother-kin is more favourable 
to the development and multiplication of goddesses than of gods. 
It is therefore, perhaps, no mere accident that we meet with these 
effeminate priests in regions like the Pelew Islands and Western 
Asia, where the system of mother-kin either actually prevails or has 
at least left traces of it behind in tradition and custom. Such 
traces, for example, are to be found in Lydia and Cos, 4 in both of 
which the effeminate Hercules had his home. 

1 Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. ii 
34, pp. 29 sq.j ed. Potter ; Arnobius, 
A dversus Nationcs, v. 28; Mythographi 
Graedy ed. A. Westermann (Brunswick, 
1843), p. 368 ; J. Tzetzes, Scholia on 
Lycophron, 212. As to the special 
association of the fig with Dionysus, see 
Athenaeus, Hi. 14, p. 78. " As to the 
artificial fertilization of the fig, see The 
Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, 
ii. 314 sq* On the type of the effemin- 
ate Dionysus in art see . Thraemer, 
s.v. " Dionysos," in W. H. Reseller's 
Lexikon dergriech. undrom* Mythologie* 

i- "35 W* 

* Tacitus, Germania y 43. Perhaps, 

as Professor Chad wick thinks, this priest 
may have succeeded to a priestess when 
the change from mother-kin to father- 
kin took place. See H. M. Chadwick, 
The Origin of the English Nation 
(Cambridge, 1907), p. 339. 

3 In Cyprus there was a bearded and 
masculine image of Venus (probably 
Astarte) in female attire : according to 
Philochoras, the deity thus represented 
was the moon, and sacrifices were 
offered to him or her by men clad as 
women, and by women clad as men. 
See Macrobius, Saturn, iii 7. 2 ;?.; 
Servius on Virgil, Aen. it 632. A 
similar exchange of garments took 
place between Argive men and women 
at the festival of the Hybri&tica, which 

fell in the month of Hermes, either at 
the new moon or on the fourth of the 
month. See Plutarch, De mulicrum 
virtutiovst 4 ; Polyaenus, viii. 33. On 
the thirteenth of January flute-players 
paraded the streets of Rome in the 
garb of women (Plutarch, Quaestiones 
Romanae, 55). 

* For traces of mother-kin in Lydia 
see The Magic Art and the Evolution 
of Kings* ii. 281 jy. With regard to 
Cos we know from inscriptions that at 
Halasarna all who shared in the sacred 
rites of Apollo and Hercules had to 
register the names of their father, their 
mother, and of their mother's father; 
from which it appears that maternal 
descent was counted more important 
than paternal descent. See H. Collitz 
und F. Bechtel, Samntlung der gru- 
chischen Diatckt-fnsckriflen, ill. I 
(Gottingen, 1899), pp. 382-393, N <K* 
375 376 > G. Dittenberger, SyUoge 
Inseriptionum Graecaantmf vol. ii. pp. 
396 s$g., No. 614 ; Ch. MicheX 
Rccucil d* Inscriptions Grctques, pp. 
796 sq^ No. 1003 ; J. Toepfier, 
Attischc Gemalogie (Berlin, 1889), pp. 
192 sq. On traces of mother-kin in 
the legend and ritual of Hercules see 
A. B. Cook, "Who was the wife of 
Hercules ?" The Classical Revriew* xx. 
(1906) pp. 376 jy. Mr. Cook coo- 
jectores that a Sacred Marriage at 


But the 
of costume 
men and 
women has 
been prac- 
tised also 
from other 
motives, for 
from a wish 
to avert the 
Evil Eye. 
seems to 
the inter- 
change of 
male and 
bride and 
groom at 

But the religious or superstitious interchange of dress between 
men and women is an obscure and complex problem, and it is 
unlikely that any single solution would apply to all the cases. 
Probably the custom has been practised from many different 
motives. For example, the practice of dressing boys as girls has 
certainly been sometimes adopted to avert the Evil Eye ; l and it is 
possible that the custom of changing garments at marriage, the 
bridegroom disguising himself as a woman, or the bride disguising 
herself as a man, may have been resorted to for the same purpose. 
Thus in Cos, where the priest of Hercules wore female attire, the 
bridegroom was in like manner dressed as a woman when he received 
his bride. 2 Spartan brides had their hair shaved, and were clad in 
men's clothes and booted on their wedding night. 3 Argive brides 
wore false beards when they slept with their husbands for the first 
time.* In Southern Celebes a bridegroom at a certain point of the 
long and elaborate marriage ceremonies puts on the garments which 
his bride has just put off. 5 Among the Jews of Egypt in the Middle 
Ages the bride led the wedding dance with a helmet on her head 
and a sword in her hand, while the bridegroom adorned himself as 
a woman and put on female attire. 6 At a Brahman marriage in 
Southern India " the bride is dressed up as a boy, and another girl 
is dressed up to represent the bride. They are taken in procession 
through the street, and, on returning, the pseu do- bridegroom is 
made to speak to the real bridegroom in somewhat insolent 
tones, and some mock play is indulged in. The real bridegroom 
is addressed as if he was the syce (groom) or gumasta (clerk) 
of the pseudo- bridegroom, and is sometimes treated as a thief, 
and judgment passed on him by the latter." 7 Among the Bharias 

Hercules and Hera was celebrated in 
Cos. We know in fact from a Coan 
inscription that a bed was made and a 
marriage celebrated beside the image 
of Hercules, and it seems probable that 
the rite was that of a Sacred Marriage, 
though some scholars interpret it merely 
of an ordinary human wedding. See 
G. Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum 
Graecarum* voL it pp. 577 sqq.+ No. 
734 ; R. Dareste, B. HanssouUer, Th. 
Reinach, RecueU d? Inscriptions JuH~ 
digues Grtcques, Deuxieme Se*rie 
(Paris, 1898), No. xxiv. B, pp. 94 
sqq. ; Fr. Bade, De Gratcorum caeri- 
monHs in quikus homines deorum 
vice fungcbantur (Berlin, 1883), pp. 

Notes and Queries^ (1884) 
Sft 21% 869, 1007, 1029 ; id. ii (1885) 
M 344. $$* 5/0; Journal rf the 

Anthropological Society of Bombay^ i 
(1886) p. 123; North Indian Notes 
and Queries, iii. (1893) 99- Com- 
paremynotes, "The Youth of Achilles," 
The Classical Xeview, vii. (1893) pp. 
292 sq. ; and on Pausanias, i. 22. 6 
(vol. ii. p. 266). 
a Plutarch, Qttaestiones Graecae, 58. 

3 Plutarch, Lycurgus, 15. 

4 Plutarch, De mulierum virhtii- 
bus, 4. 

* B. F. Matthes, Bijdragen tot dt 
Ethnokgie van Zuid- Celebes (The 
Hague, 1875), p. 35- The marriage 
ceremonies here described are especially 
those of princes. 

Sepp, Altbayerischer Sagenschat* 
(Munich, 1876), p. 232, referring to 

T E. Thurston, Ethnographic Notei 
in Southern India (Madras, 1906), p. 3. 




of the Central Provinces of India "the bridegroom puts on 
women's ornaments and carries with him an iron nut-cutter or dagger 
to keep off evil spirits." 1 Similarly among the Khangars, a low 
Hindustani caste of the same region, " the bridegroom is dressed 
in a yellow gown and overcloth, with trousers of red chintz, red 
shoes, and a marriage crown of date-palm leaves. He has the 
silver ornaments usually worn by women on his neck, as the khang- 
wdri or silver ring and the hamel or necklace of rupees. In order 
to avert the evil eye he carries a dagger or nut-cracker, and a smudge 
of lampblack is made on his forehead to disfigure him and thus 
avert the evil eye, which, it is thought, would otherwise be too prob- 
ably attracted by his exquisitely beautiful appearance in his wedding 
garments." 2 These examples render it highly probable that, like 
the dagger or nut-cracker which he holds in his hand, the woman's 
ornaments which he wears are intended to protect the bridegroom 
against demons or the evil eye at this critical moment of his life, the 
protection apparently consisting in a disguise which enables him to 
elude the unwelcome attentions of malignant beings. 8 

A similar explanation probably accounts for the similar exchange The same 
of costume between other persons than the bride and bridegroom at 
marriage. For example, after a Bharia wedding, " the girl's mother 

gets the dress of the boy's father and puts it on, together with a the inter- 
jalse beard and moustaches, and dances holding a wooden kdle 
in one hand and a packet of ashes in the other. Every time she 

approaches the bridegroom's father on her rounds she spills some costume 
of the ashes over him and occasionally gives him a crack on the b ?T ecB 
head with her ladle, these actions being accompanied by bursts of pe^om ^ 
laughter from the party and frenzied playing by the musicians, marriage. 
When the party reach the bridegroom's house on their return, his 
mother and the other women come out, and burn a little mustard 
and human hair in a lamp, the unpleasant smell emitted by these 
articles being considered potent to drive away evil spirits," * Again, 
after a Khangar wedding the father of the bridegroom, dressed in 
women's clothes, dances with the mother of the bride, while the two 
throw turmeric mixed with water on each other. 5 Similarly after a 

The pseudo-bridegroom is apparently 
the bride in masculine attire. 

1 Central Provinces* Ethnographic 
Survey, iii. Draft Articles on Forest 
Tribes (Allahabad, 1907), p. 31. 

1 Central Provinces^ Ethnographic 
Survey, L Draft Articles on Hindu- 
stani Castes (Allahabad, 1907), p. 48. 

1 Elsewhere I have conjectured that 
the wearing of female attire by the 
bridegroom at marriage may mark a 
transition from mother-kin to fcther- 
kin, the intention of the custom being 


to transfer to the father those rights 
over the children which bad previously 
been enjoyed by the mother alone. 
See Totcmism (Edinburgh, 1887), pp. 
78 s$. ; Tetemism and Exogamy^ i 
73. But I am now disposed to think 
that the other explanation suggested 
in the text is the more probable. 

Central Promn&s* Ethnographic 
Survey, vL Draft Articles on 
Tribes (Allahabad, 190?), p. 3** 

* Central 

Survey* * Draft Artu&s en 


by men 
for the 
purpose of 
and ghosts 


wedding of the Bharbhunjas, another Hindustani caste of the 
Central Provinces, the bridegroom's father dances before the family 
in women's clothes which have been supplied by the bride's father. 1 
Such disguises and dances may be intended either to protect the 
disguised dancer himself against the evil eye or perhaps rather to 
guard the principal personages of the ceremony, the bride and bride- 
groom, by diverting the attention of demons from them to the guiser. 8 
However, when at marriage the bride alone assumes the costume 
and appearance of the other sex, the motive for the disguise may 
perhaps be a notion that on the principle of homoeopathic magic 
she thereby ensures the birth of a male heir. Similarly in Sweden 
there is a popular superstition that "on the night preceding her 
nuptials the bride should have a baby-boy to sleep with her, in which 
case her first-born will be a son " ; 8 and among the Kabyles, when 
a bride dismounts from her mule at her husband's house, a young 
lad leaps into the saddle before she touches the ground, in order 
that her first child may be a boy.* 

Be that as it may, there is no doubt that the assumption of 
woman's dress is sometimes intended to disguise a man for the 
purpose of deceiving a demon. Thus among the Boloki or Bangala 
on the Upper Congo a man was long afflicted with an internal 
malady. When all other remedies had failed, a witch-doctor in- 
formed the sufferer that the cause of his trouble was an evil spirit, 
and that the best thing he could do was to go far away where the 
devil could not get at him, and to remain there till he had recovered 
his health. The patient followed the prescription. At dead of 
night he left his house, taking only two of his wives with him and 
telling no one of his destination, lest the demon should hear it and 
follow him. So he went far away from his town, donned a woman's 
dress, and speaking in a woman's voice he pretended to be other 
than he was, in order that the devil should not be able to find him 
at his new address. Strange to say, these sage measures failed to 

stani Castes (Allahabad, 1907), p. Somali Tribes," The Folk-lore Journal^ 

vi. (1888) p. 122; J. P. Farler, "The 
Usambara Country in East Africa," 
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical 
Society -, N.S. i. (1879) p. 92; Majo* 
J. Biddulph, Tribes of the Hindoo Koosk 
(Calcutta, 1880), pp. 78, 80 ; G. A. 
* Grierson, Bihar Peasant Life (Calcutta, 
1885), p. 365 ; A. de Gubernatis, Usi 
Nuziali in Italia* (Milan, 1878), p. 
190 ; P. Se*billot, Coutumcs Populaires 
de la Haute -Bretagne (Paris, 1886), 
p. 438. 

* L. Lloyd, Peasant Life in Swede* 
(London, 1870), p. 85. 

* J. Liorel, Kdbylie du Jurjvra 
(Paris, N.D.), p. 406. 

1 Central Provinces, Ethnographic 
Survey, vi. Draft Articles on Hindu- 
stani Castes, Second Series (Allahabad, 

19"). P. 50- 

1 Compare W. Crooke, Popular Re- 
ligion and Folk-lore of Northern India, 
(Westminster, 1896), ii. 8, who pro- 
poses, with great probability, to explain 
on a similar principle, the European 
marriage custom known as the False 
Bride, For more instances of the 
interchange of male and female costume 
at marriage between persons other than 
the bridegroom see Capt. J. S. King, 
"Social Customs of the Western 




effect a cure, and wearying of exile he at last returned home, where 
he continued to dress and speak as a woman. 1 Again, the Kuki- 
Lushai of Assam believe that if a man kills an enemy or a wild 
beast, the ghost of the dead man or animal will haunt him and drive 
him mad The only way of averting this catastrophe is to dress up 
as a woman and pretend to be one. For example, a man who had 
shot a tiger and was in fear of being haunted by the animal's ghost, 
dressed himself up in a woman's petticoat and cloth, wore ivory 
earrings, and wound a mottled cloth round his head like a turban. 
Then smoking a woman's pipe, carrying a little basket, and spinning 
a cotton spindle, he paraded the village followed by a crowd roaring 
and shrieking with laughter, while he preserved the gravity of a 
judge, for a single smile would have been fatal. To guard against 
the possibility of unseasonable mirth, he carried a porcupine in 
his arms, and if ever, tickled beyond the pitch of endurance, he 
burst into a guffaw, the crowd said, "It was the porcupine that 
laughed." All this was done to mortify the pride of the tiger's ghost 
by leading him to believe that he had been shot by a woman. 2 

The same dread of attracting the attention of dangerous spirits Exchange 
at critical times perhaps explains the custom observed by some East of costume 
African tribes of wearing the costume of the opposite sex at circurn- tjw ^^ 
cision. Thus, when Masai boys have been circumcised they dress at circum- 
as women, wearing earrings in their ears and long garments that cisi< 
reach to the ground. They also whiten their swarthy faces with 
chalk. This costume they retain till their wounds are healed, 
whereupon they are shaved and assume the skins and ornaments 
of warriors. 3 Among the Nandi, a tribe of British East Africa, 
before boys are circumcised they receive a visit from young girls, 
who give them some of their own garments and ornaments. These 
the boys put on and wear till the operation of circumcision is over, 
when they exchange the girls' clothes for the garments of women, 
which, together with necklaces, are provided for them by their 
mothers ; and these women's garments the newly circumcised lads 
must continue to wear for months afterwards. Girls are also circum- 
cised among the Nandi, and before they submit to the operation 
they attire themselves in men's garments and carry clubs in their 
hands. 4 

If such interchange of costume between men and women i& 

1 Rev. J. H. Weeks, Among Congo 
Cannibals (London, 1913), p. 267. 
Compare /., "Anthropological Notes 
on the Bangala of the Upper Congo 
River," Journal of the Royal Anthropo- 
logical Institute, xl. (1910) pp. 370 sq. 

9 Lieut. - Colonel J. Shakespear, 
41 The Kuki-Lushai Clans," Journal 
of tic Royal Anthropological Institute^ 

(1 909) pp. 380*?- 

8 A. C. Hollis, The Masai (Oxford, 
1905), p. 298. 
< A. C. Hollis, The NanM (Oxford, 

I9<>9) PP- 53-S& Mr - Hollis inform! 
me that among the Akikuyu, another 
tribe of British East Africa, the custom 
of boys dressing as girls at or after 
circumcision is also observed. 


Other cases 

of the inter- 
change of 
male and 



tion of 
girls for 
hire in the 
seems to 
be a form 
of sexual 
ism and 
of group- 

intended to disguise the wearers against demons, we may compare 
the practice of the Lycian men, who regularly wore women's dress 
in mourning ; l for this might be intended to conceal them from the 
ghost, just as perhaps for a similar reason some peoples of antiquity 
used to descend into pits and remain there for several days, shunning 
the light of the sun, whenever a death had taken place in the family. 8 
A similar desire to deceive spirits may perhaps explain a device to 
which the Loeboes, a primitive tribe of Sumatra, resort when they 
wish to obtain male or female offspring. If parents have several 
sons and desire that the next child shall be a girl, they dress the 
boys as girls, cut their hair after the girlish fashion, and hang neck- 
laces round their necks. On tbe contrary, when they have many 
daughters and wish to have a son, they dress the girls up as boys, 8 

On the whole we conclude that the custom of men dressing as 
women and of women dressing as men has been practised from a 
variety of superstitious motives, among which the principal would 
seem to be the wish to please certain powerful spirits or to deceive 

2. Prostitution of Unmarried Girls 

Like many peoples of Western Asia in" antiquity, the Pelew 
Islanders systematically prostitute their unmarried girls for hire. 
Hence, just as in Lytlia and Cyprus of old, the damsels are a 
source of income to their family, and women wait impatiently for 
the time when their young daughters will be able to help the house- 
hold by their earnings. Indeed the mother regularly anticipates the 
time by depriving the girl of her virginity with -her own hands. 4 
Hence the theory that the prostitution of unmarried girls is a device 
to destroy their virginity without risk to their husbands is just as 
inapplicable to the Pelew Islanders as we have seen it to be to 
the peoples of Western Asia in antiquity. When a Pelew girl has 
thus been prepared for her vocation by her mother, she sells her 
favours to all the men of her village who can pay for them and 
who do not belong to her own exogamous clan; but she never 
grants her favours to the same man twice. Accordingly in every 
village of the Pelew Islands it may be taken as certain that the 
men and women know each other carnally, except that members 
of the same clan are debarred from each other by the rule of 
exogamy. 6 Thus a well-marked form of sexual communism, limited 
only by the exogamous prohibitions which attach to the clans, prevails 
among these people. Nor is this communism restricted to the inhabit- 

1 Plutarch, C&nsolatioadApolIonium> 
as ; Valerius Maximus, iL 6. 13, 

* Plutarch, i.e. 

*J* Kreemer, "I>e Loeboes in 
Manaailing," Bijdragen tot de Taal- 

Land- en Volkenkunde van Nedtr- 
landsch-Indu, Ixvi (1912) p. 317. 

* J, Kubary, Die socialen Einruh* 
tungen der Pelauer, pp. 50 $q. 

6 J. Kubary, op. cit. p. 51. 



ants of the same village, for the girls of each village are regularly 
sent away to serve as prostitutes {armengols) in another village. There 
they live with the men of one of the many clubs or associations 
(kaldebekek} in the clubhouse (play\ attending to the house, con- 
sorting freely with the men, and receiving pay for their services. 
A girl leading this life in the clubhouse of another village is well 
treated by the men : a wrong done to her is a wrong done to the 
whole club; and in her own village her value is increased, not 
diminished, by the time she thus spends as a prostitute in a 
neighbouring community. After her period of service is over 
she may marry either in the village where she has served or in 
her own. Sometimes many or all of the young women of a village 
go together to act as prostitutes (armengols} in a neighbouring 
village, and for this they are well paid by the community which 
receives them. The money so earned is divided among the chiefs 
of the village to which the damsels belong. Such a joint expedition 
of the unmarried girls of a village is called a UoloboL But the young 
women never act as armengols in any clubhouse of their own 
village. 1 

Thus, while the Pelew custom of prostituting the unmarried The 
girls to all the men of their own village, but not of their own clan, is 
a form of sexual communism practised within a local group, the 
custom of prostituting them to men of other villages is a form of the 

sexual communism practised between members of different local fcon 

. . , . f f . -,, . f . similar 

groups ; it is a kind of group-marriage. These customs of the Asiatic 

Pelew Islanders therefore support by analogy the hypothesis that custom 
among the ancient peoples of Western Asia also the systematic *?5j^ 
prostitution of unmarried women may have been derived from an state of 
earlier period of sexual communism. 2 society. 

A somewhat similar, custom prevails in Yap, one of the western Somewhat 
group of the Caroline Islands, situated to the north of the Pelew &*%** 
group. In each of the men's clubhouses "are kept three or four observed 
unmarried girls or Me$pil> whose business it is to minister to the 
pleasures of the men of the particular clan or brotherhood to which 
the building belongs. As with the Kroomen on the Gold Coast, 
each man, married or single, takes his turn by rotation in the rites 
through which each girl must pass before she is deemed ripe for 
marriage. The natives say it is an ordeal or preliminary trial to fit 
them for the cares and burden of maternity. She is rarely a girl of 
the same village, and, of course, must be sprung from a diHerenl 
sept Whenever she wishes to become a Langin or respectable 
married woman, she may, and is thought none the less of for ber 
frailties as a Mespil . . . But I believe this self-immolation before 
marriage is confined to the daughters of the inferior chiefe and 

J. Kubaiy, op. ci*. pp.**5*-53 
9 See above, voL L pp. 39 


commons. The supply of Mespil is generally kept up by the pur- 
chase of slave girls from the neighbouring districts." * According 
to another account a mcspil "must always be stolen, by force or 
cunning, from a district at some distance from that wherein her 
captors reside. After she has been fairly, or unfairly, captured and 
installed in her new home, she loses no shade of respect among her 
own people ; on the contrary, have not her beauty and her worth 
received the highest proof of her exalted perfection, in the devotion, 
not of one, but of a whole community of lovers?" 2 However, 
though the girl is nominally stolen from another district, the matter 
is almost always arranged privately with the local chief, who consents 
to wink hard at the theft in consideration of a good round sum of 
shell money and stone money, which serves " to salve the wounds of 
a disrupted family and dispel all thoughts of a bloody retaliation. 
Nevertheless, the whole proceeding is still carried out with the 
greatest possible secrecy and stealth." 8 

In the 
Islands the 
heir to the 
ship of a 
clan has 
a formal 
right to 
slay his 

The plot 
of death 
and its 

3. Custom of slaying Chiefs 

In the Pelew Islands when the chief of a clan has reigned too 
long or has made himself unpopular, the heir has a formal right to 
put him to death, though for reasons which will appear this right is 
only exercised in some of the principal clans. The practice of regi- 
cide, if that word may be extended to the assassination of chiefs, is 
in these islands a national institution regulated by exact rules, and 
every high chief must lay his account with it. Indeed so well 
recognized is the custom that when the heir-apparent, who under the 
system of mother-kin must be a brother, a nephew, or a cousin on 
the mother's side, proves himself precocious and energetic, the people 
say, " The cousin is a grown man. The chiefs tobolbel is nigh at 
hand." * 

In such cases the plot of death is commonly so well hushed 
up that it seldom miscarries. The first care of the conspirators 
is to discover where the doomed man keeps his money. For 
this purpose an old woman will sleep for some nights in the 
house and make inquiries quietly, till like a sleuth-hound she has 
nosed the hoard. Then the conspirators come, and the candidate 
for the chieftainship despatches his predecessor either with his own 
hand or by the hand of a young cousin. Having done the deed he 
takes possession of the official residence, and applies to the widow 

1 F. W. Christian, The Caroline 
Islands (London, 1899), pp. 290 sq. 
Compare W. H. Furness, The Island 
of Stone MoneVy Uap of the Carolines 
(Philadelphia and London, 1910), pp. 
46 sqq. 

1 W. H, Furness, op. eit. pp. 46 sq. 

8 W. H. Furness, op. cit. pp. 49 


4 J. Kubary, Die socialen Einrich* 
tungen der Pelauer^ p. 43. The 
writer does not translate the word 
tobolbel) but the context sufficiently 
explains its meaning. 


of the deceased the form of persuasion technically known as 
mclcket. This consists of putting a noose round her neck, and 
drawing it tighter and tighter till she consents to give up her late 
husband's money. After that the murderer and his friends have 
nothing further to do for the present, hut to remain quietly in the 
house and allow events to take their usual course. 

Meantime the chiefs assemble in the council-house, and the 
loud droning notes of the triton-shell, which answers the purpose 
of" a tocsin, summon the whole population to arms. The warriors 

, ,. ii < . before tat 

muster, and surrounding the house where the conspirators are assassin h 
ensconced they shower spears and stones at it, as if to inflict condign recognized 

punishment on the assassins. But this is a mere blind, a sham, a *L chlc l?. 
f,_.. , , , . ., ' ' room 01 hit 

legal fiction, intended perhaps to throw dust in the eves of the victim, 
ghost and make him think that his death is being avenged. In 
point of fact the warriors take good care to direct their missiles 
at the roof or walls of the house, for if they threw them at the 
windows they might perhaps hurt the murderer. After this formality 
has been satisfactorily performed, the regicide steps out of the house 
and engages in the genial task of paying the death duties to the 
various chiefs assembled. When he has observed this indispensable 
ceremony, the law is satisfied : all constitutional forms have been 
carried out : the assassin is now the legitimate successor of his 
victim and reigns in his stead without any further trouble. 

But if he has omitted to massacre his predecessor and has But the 
allowed him to die a natural death, he suffers for his negligence 
by being compelled to observe a long series of complicated and 
irksome formalities before he can make good his succession in the to observe 
eves of the law. For in that case the title of chief has to be formally at his . 

.,, * t,t j.rjit-' L accession 

withdrawn from the dead man and conferred on his successor by a ^ mtlch 
curious ceremony, which includes the presentation of a coco-nut more com- 
and a taro plant to the new chief. Moreover, at first he may not 
enter the chiefs house, but has to be shut up in a tiny hut for thirty 
or forty days during all the time of mourning, and even when that is murdered 
over he may not come out till he has received and paid for a human 
head brought him by the people of a friendly state. After that he 
still may not go to the sea-shore until more formalities have been fully 
observed. These comprise a very costly fishing expedition, which is 
conducted by the inhabitants of another district and lasts for weeks. 
At the end of it a net full of fish is brought to the chiefs house, and 
the people of the neighbouring communities are summoned by the 
blast of trumpets. As soon as the stranger fishermen have been 
publicly paid for their services, a relative of the new chief steps 
across the net and solemnly splits a coco-nut in two with an old- 
fashioned knife made of a Tridacna shell, while at the same time he 
bans all the evils that might befall his kinsman. Then, without 
looking at the nut, he throws the pieces on the ground, and if they 


fall so that the two halves lie with the opening upwards, it is an omen 
that the chief will live long. The pieces of the nut are then tied 
together and taken to the house of another chief, the friend of the 
new ruler, and there they are kept in token that the ceremony has 
been duly performed. Thereupon the fish are divided among the 
people, the strangers receiving half. This completes the legal 
ceremonies of accession, and the new chief may now go about 
freely. But these tedious formalities and others which I pass over 
are dispensed with when the new chief has proved his title by slay- 
ing his predecessor. In that case the procedure is much simpli- 
fied, but on the other hand the death duties are so very heavy that 
only rich men can afford to indulge in the luxury of regicide. Hence 
in the Pelew Islands of to-day, or at least of yesterday, the old- 
fashioned mode of succession by slaughter is now restricted to a few 
families of the bluest blood and the longest purses. 1 

The Pelew If this account of the existing or recent usage of the Pelew 

custom Islanders sheds little light on the motives for putting chiefs to death, 

reSdde W ^ we ^ illustrates the business-like precision with which such a 

maybe custom may be carried out, and the public indifference, if not 

regarded as approval, with which it may be regarded as an ordinary incident of 

mcidenToF constitutional government. So far, therefore, the Pelew custom 

constim bears out the view that a systematic practice of regicide, however 

tional strange and revolting it may seem to us, is perfectly compatible 

meat* 1 " w * tn a state ^ soc i et 7 i n which human conduct and human life 

are estimated by a standard very different from ours. If we would 

understand the early history of institutions, we must learn to detach 

ourselves from the prepossessions of our own time and country, 

and to place ourselves as far as possible at the standpoint of men 

in distant lands and distant ages. 

1 J. Kubary, Die socialcn Einrichtungcn dcr Pclauer, pp. 4 3-45, 75-78. 


A ban. a Persian month, ii. 68 
Abd-Hadad, priestly king of Hierapolis, 

i. 163 . 8 
Aberdeenshire, All Souls' Day in, ii 

Abi-baal, i. 51 .* 

Abi-el, i. 51 n. 4 

Abi-jah, King, his family, i. 51 .*; 
11 father of Jehovah," 51 .* 

Abi-melech, " father of a king," i. 51 . 4 

Abi-milk (Abi-melech), king of Tyre, i. 

Abimelech massacres his seventy 
brothers, i. 51 . 2 

Abi pones, of South America, their 
worship of the Pleiades, i. 258 . a 

Abraham, his attempted sacrifice of 
Isaac, ii. 219 n. 1 

Abruzzi, gossips of St. John in the, i. 
245 . 2 ; marvellous properties attri- 
buted to water on St. John's Night 
in the, 246 ; Easter ceremonies in the, 
256 ; the feast of All Souls in the, 
ii. 77 sq. ; rules as to sowing seed 
and cutting timber in the, 133 . s 

Abu Rabah, resort of childless wives hi 
Palestine, i. 78, 79 

Abydos, head of Osiris at, ii. zx ; the 
favourite burial-place of the Egyp- 
tians, 1 8 s$. ; specially associated with 
Osiris, 18, 197 ; tombs of the ancient 
Egyptian kings at, 19 ; the ritual of, 
86 ; hall of the Osiriaa mysteries at, 
108 ; representations of the Sed festival 
at, 151 ; inscriptions at, 153 ; temple 
of Osiris at, 198 

Acacia, Osiris in the, ii. in 

Achaia, subject to earthquakes, i. 202 

Acharaca, cave of Pluto at, i. 205 sq. 

Acilisena, temple of Anaitis at, i. 38 

Adad, Syrian king, i. 15; Babylonian 
and Assyrian god of thunder and 
lightning, 163 
Adana in Cilicia, i. 169 n.* 
Addison, Joseph, on the grotto dei cani 
at Naples, i. 205 n. 1 

Adhar, a Persian month, ii 6ft 

Adorn -melech or Uri- melech, king of 

Byblus, i 14, 17 
Adm, a Semitic title, i. 6 ;?., 16 *?., ao, 

49 - 7 

Adonat, title of Jehovah, i, 6 sq. 
Adoni, "my lord," Semitic title, i 7; 

names compounded with, 17 
Adoni-bezek, king of Jerusalem, i 17 
Adoni-jah, elder brother of King Solo- 
mon, i. 51 #.* 

Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, i. 17 
Adonis, myth of, i. 3 sqq. ; Greek worship 
of, 6 ; in Greek mythology, 10 sqq. ; 
in Syria, 13 $qq. ; monuments of, 99 ; 
in Cyprus, 31 sqq^ 49 ; identified with 
Osiris, 32 ; mourning for, at Bybtus, 
38 ; said to be the fruit of incest, 43 ; 
his mother Myrrha, 43 ; son of Toetas, 
43 ** 55 *- 4 1 the son of Clnyras, 
49 ; the title of the sons of Phoenician 
kings in Cyprus, 49 ; his violent death, 
55 ; music in the worship of, 55 ; 
sacred prostitution in the worship of, 
57 ; inspired prophets in worship of, 
76 ; human representatives of, perhaps 
burnt, xio; doves burned in honour 
of, 147 ; personated by priestly kings, 
223 ; the ritual of, 223 sqq. ; his death 
and resurrection represented in his 
rites, 224 sq. ; festivals of, 234 jff, ; 
flutes played in the laments lor, a5 
*.'; the ascension of, 225; images 
of, thrown into the sea or springs, 
225, 227 .*, 236 ; born from a 
myrrh -tree, 227, ii no; bewailed 
by Argive women, i. 227 . ; analogy 
of his rites to Indian and European 
ceremonies, 227 ; his death and resur- 
rection interpreted as representations 
of the decay and revival of vegetation, 
227 sqq. ; interpreted as the sun, aa$ ; 
interpreted by the ancients as the god 
of the reaped and sprouting corn, aao ; 
as a corn-spirit, 230 jgy. ; htmger the 
root of the TOsb$f> of, 931 ; perhaps 




originally a personification of wild 
vegetation, especially grass and trees, 
233 ; the gardens of, 236 sqq. \ rain- 
charm in the rites of, 237 ; resemblance 
of his rites to the festival of Easter, 
354 S 44- * 36 i worshipped at Bethle- 
hem, 257 sqq. ; and the planet Venus as 
the Morning Star, 258 sq. \ sometimes 
identified with Attis, 263; swine not 
eaten by worshippers of, 265 ; rites of, 
among the Greeks, 298 ; lamented by 
women at Byblus, ii. 23 
Adonis and Aphrodite, i. xi sq., 29, 
280 ; their marriage celebrated at 
Alexandria, 224 
and Attis identified with Dionysus, 

ii. 127 n. 
and Osiris, similarity between their 

rites, ii. 127 

, Attis, Osiris, their mythical simi- 
larity, i. 6, ii. 201 

, the river, its valley, i. 28 sqq. ; 

annual discoloration of the, 30, 225 
Aedepsus, hot springs of Hercules at, i 

211 sq. 
Aedesius, Sextilius Agesilaus, dedicates 

altar to Attis, i. 275 n. 1 
Aegipan and Hermes, i. 157 
Aelian, on impregnation of Judean maid 

by serpent, i. 81 
Aeneas and Dido. i. 114 n. 1 
Aeschylus, on Typhon, i. 156 
Aesculapius, in relation to serpents, i. 
80 sq. ; reputed father of Aratus, 
So sq. ; his shrines at Sicyon and 
Titane, 81 ; his dispute with Hercules, 
209 sq. 

Aeson and Medea, i. 181 n. 1 
Aetna, Latin poem, i. 221 n.* 
Africa, serpents as reincarnations of the 
dead in, i. 82 sqq. ; infant burial in, 
91 sq. ; reincarnation of the dead in, 
91 sq. ; annual festivals of the dead 
in, ii. 66 ; worship of dead kings and 
chiefs in, 160 sqq. ; supreme gods in, 

165. 173 *7-t X 74 l86 with ** 
187 w. 1 , 188 sq. t 190; worship of 
ancestral spirits among the Bantu 
tribes of, 174 sqq. ; inheritance of the 
kingship under mother-kin in, 2x1 

, North, custom of bathing at Mid- 
summer among the Mohammedan 
peoples of. i. 249 

, West, sacred men and women in, 

i. 65 sqq. ; human sacrifices in, ii. 99 .* 

Afterbirth or placenta regarded as a 
person's double or twin, ii. 169 sq. 
See also Placenta 

Afterbirths buried in banana groves, t 
93 ; regarded as twins of the children, 
93 ; Shilluk kings interred where their 
afterbirths are buried, ii. 162 

Agbasia, West African god, i. 79 

Agdestis, a man-monster in the myth ol 
Attis, i. 269 

Agesipolis, King of Sparta, his conduct 
in an earthquake, i. 196 

Agraulus, daughter of Cecrops, wor- 
shipped at Salamis in Cyprus, i. 145, 

Agricultural peoples worship the moon, 
ii. 138 sq. 

Agriculture, religious objections to. i. 88 
sqq. \ in the hands of women in the 
Pelew Islands, ii. 206 sq. ; its tendency 
to produce a conservative character, 
217 sq. 

Ahts of Vancouver Island regard' the 
moon as the husband of the sun, ii. 

139 *- 1 

Airi, a deity of North- West India, L 170 

Aiyar, N. Subramhanya, on Indian 

dancing-girls, i. 63 sqq. 
Ajax and Teucer, names of priestly kings 

of Olba, i. 144 sq. t 161 
Akhetaton (Tell-el-Amarna), the capital 

of Amenophis IV., ii. 123 n. 1 
Akikuyu of British East Africa, their 

worship of snakes, i, 67 sq. ; their 

belief in serpents as reincarnations of 

the dead, 82, 85 
Alaska, the Esquimaux of, ii. 51 ; the 

KLoniags of, 106 

Albania, marriage custom in, ii. 246 
Albanians of the Caucasus, their worship 

of the moon, i. 73 
Albinoes the offspring of the moon, i. 


Albiruni, Arab geographer, on the Per- 
sian festival of the dead, ii. 68 
Alcman on dew, ii. 137 
Aleutians, effeminate sorcerers among 

the, ii. 254 
Alexander Severus, at festival of Attis, i. 

Alexander the Great expels a king of 

Paphos, L 42 ; his fabulous birth, 8x ; 
assumes costumes of deities, 165 ; 
sacrifices to Megarsian Athena, 169 

Alexandria, festival of Adonis at, i. 224 ; 

the Serapeum at, ii. 119 ., 2x7 
Alexandrian calendar, used by Plutarch, 

ii. 84 
year, the fixed, ii. 28, 92 ; Plutarch's 

use of the, 49 
All Saints, feast of, perhaps substituted 

for an old pagan festival of the dead, 

ii. 82 sq. 
All Souls, feast of, ii. 51 sqq. ; originally 

a pagan festival of the dead, 8x ; 

instituted by Odilo. abbot of Clugay, 

Allatu, Babylonian goddess, i. 9 



Allifae in Samnium, baths of Hercules at, ' 
i. 213 . 2 

Almo. procession to the river, in the rites 
of Attis, i. 273 

Almond causes virgin to conceive, i. 
263 ; the father of all things, 263 sg. 

Alyattes, king of Lydia, i. 133 n. 1 

Alynomus, king of Paphos, i. 43 

Amambwe, a Bantu tribe of Northern 
Rhodesia, its head chief reincarnated 
in a lion, ii. 193 

Amasis, king of Egypt, his body burnt 
by Cambyses, i. 176 .* 

Amathus, in Cyprus, Adonis and Mel- 
earth at, i. 32, 117; statue of lion- 
slaying god found at, 117 

Amatongo, ancestral spirits (Zulu term), 
i. 74 . 4 , ii. 184 

Ambabai, an Indian goddess, i. 243 

Ambala District, Punjaub, L 94 

AmeTmeau, E., discovers the tomb of 
King Khent, ii. 21 a. 1 

Amenophis IV., king of Egypt, his 
attempt to abolish all gods but the 
sun-god, ii. 123 sqg. 

America, reincarnation of the dead in, 
i. 91 ; the moon worshipped by the 
agricultural Indians of tropical, ii. 138 

Amestris, wife of Xerxes, her sacrifice of 
children, ii. 220 sq. 

Ammon, Milcom, the god of, i. 19 

Ammon (the Egyptian) at Thebes, his 
human wives, i. 72 ; of Thebes identi- 
fied with the sun, ii. 123; rage of 
King Amenophis IV. against the god, 

Amoor, Gilyaks of the, L 278 . a 
Amorites, their law as to fornication, i. 

37 sq. m 

Arnsanctus, the valley of, i. 204 sq. 
Amulets, crowns and wreaths as, ii. 

242 sq. 
Amyclae, in the vale of Sparta, I 313, 

314. 3*5 
Amyclas, father of Hyacinth, i. 313 

Anacreon, on Cinyras, i. 55 
Anacyndaraxes, father of Sardanapalus, 

i. 172 
Anaitis, sacred prostitution in the worship 

of, i. 38 
Anassa, "Queen," title of goddess, i. 

35 . a 
Anazarba or Anazarbus, hi Cilicia, i. 

167 n. 1 

Ancestor-worship among the Khasis of 
Assam, ii. 203; combined with 
mother-kin tends to a predominance 
of goddesses over gods in religion, 

21 1 sq. 

Ancestors, propitiation of deceased, i. 46 ; 
the worship of, the main practical 
religion of the Bantu tribes, ii. 176 

Ancestral spirits on shoulders of medicine. 
men, L 74 .* ; incarnate in serpents, 
82 sqq. ; in the form of animals, 83 ; 
worshipped by the Bantu tribes of 
Africa, ii. 174 sqq. ; prayers to, 175 
sq. t 178 sq., 183 sq. ; sacrifices to, 
175. *78 sq. t i So, 18 1 j#., 183 sq,, 
190 ; on the father's and on the 
mother's side, the two distinguished, 
i So, 181. See also Dead 
Anchiale in Cilicia, i. 144 ; monument 

of Sardanapalus at, 172 
Andania in Messenia, sacred men mad 

women at, i. 76 .* 
Andriamasinavalona, a Hova king* 

vicarious sacrifice for, ii. 221 
Anemone, the scarlet, sprung from the 

blood of Adonis, i. 226 
Angel, the Destroying, over Jerusalem, 

i. 24 
Angus, belief as to the weaning of 

children in, ii. 148 
An halt, custom at sowing in, i. 239 
Animals sacrificed by being hanged, i, 
289 sq., 292; and plants, edible, 
savage lamentations for, ii. 43 sq. ; 
dead kings and chiefs incarnate in, 
162, 163 sq., 173, 193; sacrificed to 
prolong the life of kings,"222 
Anje-a, a mythical being who brings 

children to women, i. 103 
Anklets made of human sinews worn by 

king of Uganda, ii. 224 sq. 
Ankole, in Central Africa, the Bahima of, 

il 190 

Anna, sister of Dido, i. 114 n. 1 
Annam, offerings to the dead in spring 
in, i. 235 . 1 ; annual festivals of the 
dead in, ii. 62 sqq. 

Annual death and resurrection of gods, L 6 
Anointing as a ceremony of consecration, 

i. 21 .* and *, 68, 74 
- sacred stones, custom of. i. 36 
Antelopes, soul of a dead king incarnate 

in, ii. 163 
Anthesteria, festival of the dead at 

Athens, i. 234 sq. 
Antigonus, King, i. si 2 
Antimachia in Cos, priest of Hercnks at, 

ii. 258 

Antioch, destroyed by an earthquake, L 
222 n. 1 ; festival of Adonis at, 997, 


Antiochus, Greek calendar of, i, 303 xs 
Antwerp, feast of All Souls in, il 70 
Anubis, Egyptian jackal-headed god, iL 

15, 18 ., aa *,* ; finds the body of 

Osiris, 85 

Apameia, worship of Poseidon mt, L 19$ 
Aphaca in Syria, sanctuary of Astmrte a*. 

i. 28, 359; meteor a* signal for 

festival at, 259 



Aphrodite, her sacred doves, i. 33, 147 ; 
sanctuary of, at Paphos, 33 sqq. ; the 
month of, 145 ; her blood dyes white 
roses red, 226 ; name applied to 
summer, ii. 41 

and Adonis, i. n sq. t 29, 280; 

their marriage celebrated at Alexandria, 

and Cinyras, i. 48 sq. 

and Pygmalion, i. 49 sq. 

of the Lebanon, the mourning, i. 

29 sq. 
Apinagos Indians of Brazil, their dances 

and presentation of children to the 

moon, ii. 145 sqq. 
Apis .sacred Egyptian bull, ii. iz, 119 .; 

mourning for the death of, i. 225 ; 

held to be an image of the soul of 

Osiris, ii. 130 
Apollo, the friend of Cinyras, i. 54 ; 

music in the worship of, 54 sq. \ 

reputed father of Augustus, 81 ; the 

Cataonian, 147 n. z ; his musical 

contest with Marsyas, 288 ; purified 

at Tempe, ii. 240 
and Artemis, their priesthood at 

Ephesus, ii. 243 sq. 

and Marsyas, i. 55 

at Delphi, sacrifices of Croesus to, 

L 180 n. 1 ; and the Dragon at Delphi, 
ii. 240 

of the Golden Sword, i. 176 

the Four-handed, ii. 250 n. 2 
Apotheosis by being burnt alive, i. 179 sq. 
Appian, on the costume of a priest of 

Isis, ii. 85 n* 
Apples forbidden to worshippers of 

Cybele and Attis, i. 280 . 7 
Apuleius, on the worship of Isis, ii. 119 n. 
Arab name for the scarlet anemone, i. 

Arabic writer on the mourning for Ta-uc 

(Tammuz) in Harran, i. 330 
Arabs resort to the springs of Callirrhoe 

In Moab. i. 215 sq. 
of Moab, their custom at harvest, 

ii. 48, 96; their remedies for ailments, 

Aratus of Sicyon, deemed a son of 

Aesculapius, i. 81 
Araucaman Indians of South America 

eat fruit of Araucanian pine, i. 278 . a 
Araunah, the threshing-floor of, L 24 
Arcadians sacrifice to thunder and 

lightning, i. 157 
Archigallus, high-priest of Attis, L 268, 

279 ; prophesies, 271 n. 
Arctic origin, alleged, of the Aryans, 

i. 229 n. 1 

Arenna or Arinna, i 136 n. 1 ; the sun- 
goddess of, 136 
Arensdorf, custom at sowing in, i. 239 

their priesthood at 
served by eunuch 

Argaeus, Mount, in Cappadocia, i. 

Argive brides wore false beards, ii. 260 

women bewail Adonis, i. 227 n. 

Aristomenes, Messenian hero, his fabu- 
lous birth, i. 81 
Aristophanes, on the Spartan envoy. I 

196 7. 4 ; on Hercules as patron of hot 

springs, 209 
Aristotelian philosophy, revival of the, i 

Aristotle on the political institutions oi 

Cyprus, i. 49 .' ; on earthquakes, 

211 . 8 

Armengok* in the Pelew Islands, ii. 265 
Armenia, sacred prostitution of girls 

before marriage in, i. 38, 58 
Armenians, their festivals of the dead, ii. 

65 sq. \ their opinion of the baleful 

influence of the moon on children, 148 
Arrian on Attis, i. 282 
Artemis at Perga, i. 35 ; name given by 

Greeks to Asiatic Mother Goddesses, 


and Apollo, 

Ephesus, ii. 243 

of Ephesus 

priests, i. 269 

the Hanged, L 291 

, Laphrian, at Patrae, i. 126 .* 

, Perasian, at Castabala, L 115, 

167 sqq. 
, Sarpedonian, in Cilicia, i. 167, 


Tauropolis, i. 275 n. 1 

, the Tauric, human sacrifices to 

the, i. 115 

Artemision, a Greek month, ii. 239 a. 1 
Arunta of Central Australia, their belief 

in the reincarnation of the dead, i. 99, 

Arval Brethren, their wreaths of corn, i. 

44 . ; a Roman college of priests, ii. 

Aryan family, marriage customs of the, 

ii. 235 
Aryans, their alleged Arctic origin, L 

229 n. l \ annual festivals of the dead 

among the, ii. 67 sqq. 
Aryenis, daughter of Alyattes* i. 133 n. 1 
Ascalon, the goddess Derceto at, L 34*.' 
Ascension of Adonis, i. 225 
Ashantee, human sacrifices at earth- 
quakes in, i 201 ; kings of, their 

human sacrifices, ii. 97 n. 7 
Askerim, sacred poles, L x8, x8 n.*, 

107, 108 
Ashes of human victims scattered by 

winnowing*fans, ii. 97, 106 
Ashtoreth (Astarte), L 18 *.* Set Astarte 
Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, i. 144 ; 

confused with the legendary Sardana- 



palus, 173 sq. ; carries off the bones 

of the kings of Elaxn, it 103 
Ashvin, an Indian month, i. 243 
Asia Minor, priestly dynasties of, i. 

140 sg, ; subject to volcanic forces, 

190 ; subject to earthquakes, 203 
Asiatic goddesses of fertility served by 

eunuch priests, i 269 sq. 
Asopus, the river, i. 81 
"A-souling," custom of, in England, ii. 

Aspalis, a form of Artemis, i. 292 

Assam, the Khasis of, i. 46, ii. 202 sqq. ; 

the Tangkul Nagas of, ii 57 sqq. 
Assumption of the Virgin and the festival 

of Diana, L 308, 309 
Assyrian cavalry, i. 25 .* 
Assyrians in Cilicia, i. 173 
Astarte at Byblus, i. 13 sq, ; and the 
asherim, 18 ; kings as priests of, 26 ; 
at Paphos, 33 sqq. \ doves sacred to, 
147 ; identified with the planet Venus, 
258 ; of the Syrian Hierapolis served 
by eunuch priests, 269 sq. ; called by 
Lucian the Assyrian Hera, 280 . 8 ; 
the Heavenly Goddess, 303 ; the 
planet Venus her star, ii. 35 

Aphrodite, i. 304 n. 

Asteria, mother of the Tynan Hercules 

(Melcarth), i. zia 

Astyages, king of the Medes, L 133 n. 1 
Asvattha tree, i. 82 

Atargatis, Syrian goddess, i. 34 *.*, 137 ; 
worshipped at Hierapolis - Bambyce, 
162 sq. ; derivation of the name, 162 ; 
her husband-god, 162 sg. 
Ates, a Phrygian, i. 286 
Athamas, the dynasty of, L 287 
Athanasius, on the mourning for Osiris, 

ii. 217 

'Atheh, Cilician goddess, i. 162 
Athena, temple of, at Salamis in Cyprus, 
i. 145 ; and hot springs. 209, 210 

, Magarsian, a Cilician goddess, i. 

169 . 3 

Sciras, sanctuary of, ii. 238 

Athenian boys, race of, at the vintage, 
ii. 238 ; boy carrying an olive-branch 
in procession, 238 
Athenians, their superstition as to an 

eclipse of the moon, ii. 141 
Athens, sacred serpent at, i. 87 ; the 
Commemoration of the Dead at, 234 ; 
sacrifice of an ox at, 296 sq. ; marriage 
custom at, ii. 245 
Athribis, heart of Osiris at, ii. zx 
Athyr, Egyptian month, ii. 8, 41, 49 - x ' 
Osiris murdered on the seventeenth 
day of, 8, 84 ; festival of Osiris in the 
month of, 84 J??., 91 
Atonga, tribe of T^ke Nyassa, their 
theory of earthquakes, i. 199 

Attica, summer festival of Adonis in, i 

Attis, priests of Cybele called, i. 140 , 
sometimes identified with Adonis, 263 ; 
myth and ritual of, 263 $qq> ; beloved 
by Cybele, 263, 282 ; legends of his 
death. 264; his legend at Pessmus, 
264 ; his self-mutilation, 264 sq. ; and 
the pine-tree, 264, 265, 267, 271, 
277 sq. t 285, ii. 98 .* ; his eunuch 
priests, L 265, 266 ; festival of his 
death and resurrection in March, 267 
sqq.t 272 sg, t 307 sy. ; violets sprung 
from the blood of, 267 ; the mourning 
for, 272 ; bath of bull's blood in the 
rites of, 274 sqq. ; mysteries of, 274 
sq. ; as a god of vegetation, 277 sqq. , 
279; as the Father God, 281 sqq. ; 
identified with Zeus, 282 ; as a sky- 
god, 282 sqq. ; emasculation of, sug- 
gested explanation of myth, 283 ; his 
star-spangled cap, 284 ; identified with 
Phrygian moon-god Men Tyrannas, 
284 ; human representatives of, 285 
sqq. ; title borne by priests of Cybele, 
285, 287 

, Adonis, Osiris, their mythical 

similarity, i. 6, ii. 201 

Atys, son of Croesus, his death, i 286 ; 
early king of Lydia, 286 

Aubrey, John, on soul-cakes, ii. 78 

Augustine on the effeminate priests of 
the Great Mother, i, 398 ; on the 
heathen origin of Christmas, 305 ; on 
the discovery of corn by Isis, ii. 116 ; 
on Salacia as the wife of Neptune, 

Augustodunum (Autun), worship of Cy- 
bele at, i. 279 

Augustus reputed a son of Apollo, L 

Aulus Gellius on the influence of the 
moon, ii. 132 

Aim, or On, King of Sweden, sacrifices 
his sons to Odin* ii. 220 

Aunis, feast of All Souls in, ii. 69 sq. 

Aurelia Aemilia, a sacred harlot, i. 38 

Aurobuacas, Indians of Colombia, L 
23. a 

Aust, E., on the marriage of the Roman 
gods, ii. 236 n. 1 

Australia, belief as to the reincantk 
of the dead in, i. 99 sqq* 

Australian aborigines, their preparatioii 
for marriage, i 60; their belief in 
conception without sexual intercourse, 
99 sqq. ; their cuttings for the dead, 

Austria, leaping over Midsummer fires 

in, i 251 

Awakening of Hercufes," festival at 
Tyre, i. ixx 



Awemba, Bantu tribe of Rhodesia, ii. 
174 ; their worship of ancestral spirits, 
175 ; their prayers to dead kings before 
going to war, 191 sq. 

Axe, emblem of Hittite god of thundering 
sky, i. 134 ; as divine emblem, 163 ; 
symbol of Asiatic thunder-god, 183 

, double-headed, symbol of San dan, 

i. 127 ; carried by Lydian kings, 182 ; 
a palladium of the Heraclid sover- 
eignty, 182 \ figured on coins, 183 n. 

Ba-bwende, a tribe of the Congo, i. 

271 n. 

Ba-sundi, a tribe of the Congo, i. 271 ft. 
Baal, Semitic god, i. 15, 16 ; royal 
names compounded with, 16 ; as the 
god of fertility, 26 sq. ; conceived as 
god who fertilizes land by subterranean 
water, 159 

and Sandan at Tarsus, i. 142 sq. t 

of the Lebanon, i. 32 

of Tarsus, L 1x7 sqq., 162 sq. 

Baalath or Astarte, i. 26, 34 

and Baal, i. 27 

Gebal, i. 14 

Baalbec, L 28 ; sacred prostitution at, 

37 ; image of Hadad at, 163 
Baalim, firstlings and first-fruits offered 

to the, L 27 ; called lovers, 75 . 
Babylon, early kings of, worshipped as 
gods, i. 15 ; worship of Mylitta at, 36 ; 
religious prostitution at, 58 ; human 
wives of Marduk at, 71 ; sanctuary of 
Serapis at, it 119 . 
Babylonia, worship of. Tammuz in. i. 
6 sqq. \ the moon-god took precedence 
of the sun-god in ancient, ii. 138 sq. 
Babylonian hymns to Tammuz, L 9 
Bacchanals tear Pentheus in pieces, ii. 

Bacchic orgies suppressed by Roman 

government, i. 301 it* 
Bacchylides as to Croesus on the pyre, i. 

m m* ^ 

Backbone of Osiris represented by the 
ded pillar, ii 108 sq. 

Baden, feast of AH Souls in, ii. 74 

Baethgen, F., on goddess 'Hatheh, i. 

Baganda, their worship of the python, i. 
86 ; rebirth of the dead among the, 
92 sq. ; their theory of earthquakes, 
199 ; their presentation of infants to 
the new moon, ii. 144, 145 ; ceremony 
observed by the king at new moon, 
147 ; their worship of dead kings, 167 
sqq. their veneration for the ghosts of 
dead relations, 191 n. 1 their pantheon, 
196 ; human sacrifices offered to pro- 
long the life of their kings, 223 sqq. 

Bagishu (Bageshu) of Mount Elgon. re- 
incarnation of the dead among the, i. 

Bagobos of the Philippine Islands, their 

theory of earthquakes, i. 200 ; of 

Mindanao, their custom of hanging and 

spearing human victims, 290 sq. 

Baharutsis, a Bantu tribe of South Africa, 

ii. 179 

Bahima, their belief as to dead kings and 
chiefs, i. 83 n. 1 

of Ankole in Central Africa, their 

worship of the dead, ii. 190 sq. \ their 
belief in a supreme god Lugaba, 

of Kiziba, ii. 173 

Baigas, Dravidian tribe of India, their 

objection to agriculture, i 89 
Bailly, French astronomer, on the 
Arctic origin of the rites of Adonis, L 

Bairu, the, of Kiziba, ii. 173 
Baku, on the Caspian, perpetual fires at, 

i. 192 
Balinese, their conduct in an earthquake, 

i. 198 

BcUoi, witches and wizards, ii. 104 
Banana, women impregnated by the 

flower of the, i 93 
Bangalas of the Congo, rebirth of dead 

among the, i. 92. See also Boloki 

Bantu tribes, their belief in serpents as 

reincarnations of the dead, i. 82 sqq. ; 

their worship of ancestral spirits, ii. 

174 sqq. ; their main practical religion 

a worship of ancestors, 176 sqq. ; their 

worship of the dead, 176 sqq. , 191 sqq. 

Banyoro, their worship of serpents, i. 

86 . 1 
Baptism of bull's blood in the rites of 

Cybele, i. 274 sqq. 
Bar-rekub, king of Samal, i. 15 sq. 
BaraloDgs, a Bantu tribe of South Africa, 

ii. 179 
Barea and KLunama, their annual festival 

of the dead, ii. 66 

Barley forced for festival, i. 240, 241, 
242, 244, 251 sq. 

and wheat discovered by Isis, ii. 


Barotse, a Bantu tribe of the Zambesi, 
their belief in a supreme god Niambe, 
ii. 193 ; their worship of dead kings, 
194 sq. 

Barren women resort to graves in order 
to get children, i. 90 ; entice souls of 
dead children to them, 94 
Barrenness of women cured by passing 
through holed stone, i. 36, with *. 4 ; 
removed by serpent, 86 ; children 
murdered as a remedy for, 95 
Barrows of Halfdan, ii. 100 


Barsom, oundle of twigs used by Parsee 
priests, i. 191 .* 

Barth, H., on sculptures at Boghaz- 
Keui, i 133 n. 1 

Basil, pots of, on St. John's Day in 
Sicily, i. 245 

Basuto chiefs buried secretly, ii. 104 

Basutos, worship of the dead among the, 
ii. 179 sg. 

Bataks of Sumatra, their theory of earth- 
quakes, i 199 sg. 

Batara-guni, the Batak creator, i. 199 


Bath in river at the rites of Cyhele, i. 
273 274 **> of bull's blood in the 
rites of Attis, 274 sgg.', of image of 
Cybele perhaps a rain-charm, 280 

of Aphrodite, i. 280 

of Demeter, i. 280 

of Hera in the river Burrha, i. 

280 ; in the spring of Canathus, 280 

Bathing on St. John's Day or Eve (Mid- 
summer Day or Eve), i. 246 sqq.\ 
pagan origin of the custom, 249 

Baths of Hercules, i. 212 

of Solomon in Moab, i. 215 

Batoo Bedano, an earthquake god, i. 

Battle, purificatory ceremonies after a, 
ii. 251 sq. 

of the gods and giants, i. 157 

Baudissin, W, W. Graf von, on Tam- 
muz and Adonis, i. 6 n. 1 ; on Adonis 
as the personification of the spring 
vegetation, 228 .* ; on summer 
festival of Adonis, 232 . 

Bavaria, gardens of Adonis in, i. 244 

Bawenda, ihe, of South Africa, the 
positions of their villages hidden, iL 

Bearded Venus, in Cyprus, i. 165, ii. 

259 *. 
Beaufort, F., on perpetual flame in 

Lycia, i. 222 n. 
Bechuana ritual at founding a new town, 

iL 249 
Bechuanas, their sacrifice of a blind bull 

on various occasions, ii. 249, 250 sq. 
Bede, on the feast of All Saints, ii. 83 
Beech, M, W. H., on serpent-worship, 

i- 85 
Been* marriage in Ceylon, ii. 215 

Begbie, General, i. 62 . 
Bel or Marduk at Babylon, i. 71 
Belgium, feast of All Souls in, ii. 70 
Bellerophon and Pegasus, i. 302 a. 4 
Bellona and Mars, ii. 231 
Ben-hadad, king of Damascus, L 15 
Bendall, Professor C., i. 229 .* 
Benefit of clergy, i. 68 
Bengal, the Oraons and Mundas of, i. 
46, 240 

Benin, human victims crucified at, i 

294 *. 
Bent, J. Theodore, discovers mini of 

Olba, i. 251 ; identifies site of Hiero- 

polis-Castabala, i63 n. 1 
Berecynthia, title of Cybele, i. 279 ,* 
Berenice and Ptolemy, annual festival IB 

their honour, ii. 35 w. 1 
Bes, Egyptian god, i. 118 is. 1 
Bethlehem, worship of Adonis at, i. 357 

sqq. \ fertility of the neighbourhood, 

257 .* ; the Star of, 259 
Betsileo of Madagascar, their belief in 

serpents as reincarnations of the dead, 

i. 83 
Bghais, a Karen tribe of Burma, their 

annual festival of the dead, ii. 60 sg. 
Bhadon, Indian month, i. 243 
Bharbhunjas, of the Central Province!, 

India, marriage custom of the, iL 

Bharias, of the Central Provinces, India, 

exchange of costume between men 

and women at marriage among title, 

ii. 260 sg. 

Bhujariya, festival in the Central Pro- 
vinces of India, i 242 
Bilaspore, infant burial in, i. 94 Jf. ; 

annual festival of the dead in, ii. 60 
Bion on the scarlet anemone, i. 226 ,* 
Bird, soul of a tree in a, ii, in n. 1 

called " the soul of Osiris," ii. xxo 

Birds burnt in honour of Artemis, i 

126 .*; white, souls of dead kings 

incarnate in, ii. 162 
Birks, Rev. E. B., on harvest custom at 

Orwell, i. 237 n.* 
Birth, new, through blood in rites of 

Attis, i. 274 sg. ; of Egyptian kings at 

the Sed festival, iL 153, 155 *% 
Birthday of the Sun, the twenty-fifth of 

December, i. 303 sqg. 
Bisa chiefs reincarnated in pythons, ii 

Bishnois of the Punjaub, infant burial 

among the, i. 94 

Bithynians invoke Attis, i. 282 

Black-snake clan, i. too 

Blay, men's clubhouse in the Pekw 
Islands, ii. 265 

Blekinge, province of Sweden, Mid- 
summer custom in, i. 251 

Blind bull sacrificed at the foundatioii 
of a town, ii 249 ; sacrificed before 
an army going to war, 250 

Blood, bath of bull's, in the rites of 
Attis, i. 274 sqq. \ remission of sins 
through the shedding of, 299 ; ned 
in expiation for homicide, 299 s. 1 ; <rf 
pig used in exorcism and purification, 
299 *.; not to be shed m certa 
sacrifices, ii. 222 *.* 



Blood, the Day of, in the festival of 
Attis, L 268, 285 

Blowing of Trumpets in the festival of 
Attis, L 268 

Blue Spring, the, at Syracuse, i. 2x3 a. 1 

Boar, Attis killed by a, L 264 

Bocage of Normandy, rule as to the 
clipping of wool in the, ii. 134 .* 

Bodies of the dead, magical uses made 
of the, ii. 100 sqq. ; guarded against 
mutilation, 103 ; thought to be en- 
dowed with magical powers, 103, 
104 sq. 

Bodroum in Cilicia, ruins of, i. 167 

Boghaz-Keni, Hittite capital, excavations 
of H. Winckler at, L 125 n. \ situa- 
tion and remains, 128 sqq. ; the gods 
of, 128 sqq. ; rock-hewn sculptures at, 
129 sqq. 

Bohemia, May-pole or Midsummer-tree 
in, L 250 ; feast of All Souls in, ii. 
72 sg. 

Bolivia, the Chiriguanos Indians of, ii. 

143 - 4 . MS 
Boloki, or Bangala, of the Upper Congo, 

their ceremonies at the new moon, ii. 

143 ; attempt to deceive spirit of 

disease among the, 262 
Bones of the dead used in rain-making 

ceremonies, i. 22 ; of dead kings 

carried off or destroyed by enemies, 

iL 103 sq. 
, fossil, source of myths about- giants, 

L 157 sq. 
Bonfire on St. John's Eve, dances round 

fc,i 245 

Book of the Dead, ii. 13 
Bor, the ancient Tyana, Hittite monu- 
ment at, L 122 n. 1 
Borneo, custom of head-hunting in, L 

294 sqq. \ effeminate sorcerers in, iL 

Bosanquet, Professor R. C., on the Four- 
handed Apollo, iL 250 n. a 

Bosnian, W., on serpent-worship, i. 67 

Bouche, Abbe 1 , on West African priest- 
esses, i. 66 .*, 69 

Boys of living parents in ritual, ii. 236 
sqq, ; dressed as girls to avert the Evil 
Eye, 260 ; marriage customs to ensure 
the birth of, 262 

Brahman marriage in Southern India, 
bride dressed as a boy at, ii. 260 

Brazil, the Apinagos Indians of, ii. 145*??. 

Brazilian Indians, their belief in the 
noxious influence of the moon on 
children, iL 148 

Bread, fast from, in mourning for Attis, 
L 272 

Breasted, Professor J. H., on the eye of 
Boras, iL 121 .*; on Amenophis IV., 
"3 *-* ; on the Sed festival, 156 n. 1 

Breath not to defile sacred flame, i. 

Brethren of the Ploughed Fields (Fratret 
Arvales), a Roman college of priests, 
ii. 239. See also Arval Brethren 

"Bride" of the Nile, ii. 38 

and Bridegroom at Midsummer in 

Sweden, L 251 

Bridegroom disfigured in order to avert 
the evil eye, ii. 261 

British Columbia, the Indians of, respect 
the animals and plants which they eat, 
ii. 44 

Brittany, feast of All Souls in, ii. 69 
belief as to warts and the moon in, 

Brorao, volcano hi Java, worshipped, L 
220 sq. 

Brother of a god, L 51 ; dead elder, 
worshipped, iL 175 

Brothers and sisters, marriages of, in 
royal families, L 44 ; in ancient 
Egypt, ii. 214 sqq. ; their intention 
to keep the property in the family, 
215 sq. 

Brown, A. R. , on the beliefs of the West 
Australian aborigines as to the causes 
of childbirth, i. 104 sqq, 

Brown, Dr. George, on snakes as re- 
incarnations of chiefs, i. 84 

Bruges, feast of All Souls in, ii. 70 

Brugsch, H., on Egyptian names for a 
year, ii. 26 . 1 ; on the Sothic period, 
37 n. ; on the grave of Osiris at Philae, 
m; on Isis as a personified corn-field, 

Buddha and Buddhism, ii. 159 

Buddhism, spiritual declension of, L 
310 sq. 

Budge, Dr. E. A. Wallis, on goddess 
Net, L 282 n. ; on an Egyptian 
funeral rite, iL 15 . a ; on Isis, 115 
sq. ; on the nature of Osiris, 126 n. 2 ; 
on the solar theory of Osiris, 131 n. 8 ; 
on the historical reality of Osiris, 160 
n. 1 ; on Khenti-Amenti, 198 . a 

Buduna tribe of West Australia, their 
beliefs as to the birth of children, L 
104 sq. 
Bugis of South Celebes, effeminate priests 

or sorcerers among the, ii. 253 sq. 
Bulgaria, marriage customs in, iL 246 
Bull as emblem of generative force, L 
123 ; worshipped by the Hittites, 123, 
132 ; emblem of Hittite thunder-god, 
134 sqq. ; Hittite god standing on a, 
135 ; as emblem of a thunder-god, 
136 ; as symbol of thunder and 
fertility. 163 sq. ; the emblem of the 
Father God, 164 ; worshipped at 
Euyuk, 164 ; testicles of, used in rites 
of Cybele and Attis, 276 ; sacrificed 
at Egyptian funeral, ii. 15 ; white, 



soul of dead king incarnate in a, 164 ; 
sacrificed to prolong the life of a king, 
222 ; sacrificed to Zeus, the Saviour 
of the City, 238 ; blinded and sacri- 
ficed at the foundation of a town, 249 

Bull's blood, bath of, in the rites of 
Attis, i. 274 sq. 

hide cut in strips and pegged down 

round the site of a new town, ii. 249 ; 
bride seated on a, 246 

skin, body of the dead placed in a, 


u. 15 . 

Bulls, husband-god at Hierapolis seated 
on, i. 163 

sacrificed at caves of Pluto, i. 206 ; 

sacrificed to Persephone, 213 n. 1 ; 
sacrificed to dead chiefs, ii. 191 
Burial at cross-roads, i. 93 .* 

of infants to ensure their rebirth, 

L 91, 93 sqq. \ at Gezer, 108 sq. ; of 
Osiris in his rites, ii. 88 
Burma, the Bghais of, ii. 60 
Burmese, their conduct during an earth- 
quake, i. 201 

Burne, Miss C. S., and Miss G. F. 
Jackson on "Souling Day" in Shrop- 
shire, ii. 78 sq. 

Burning of Melcarth, i no sqq. ; of 

Sandan, 117 sqq. \ of Cttician gods, 

170 sq. ; of Sardanapalus, 172 sgq. \ 

of Croesus, 174 sqq. ; of a god, 188 sq. 

Burnings for dead kings of Judah, i. 

177 sq. ; for dead Jewish Rabbis at 

Meiron, 178 

Burns, Robert, on John Barleycorn, i. 

230 sq. 
Burnt alive, apotheosis by being, i. 179^- 

Land of Lydia, i. 193 sq. 

Burrha, river, Hera's bath in the, i. 280 
Buru, East Indian island, use of oil as a 

charm in, i. 21 . a 

Busiris, backbone of Osiris at, ii. n ; 
specially associated with Osiris, 18 ; 
the ritual of, 86 ; rites of Osiris at, 
87 sq. ; festival of Osiris in the month 
of Khoiak at, 108 ; temple of Usirniri 
at, 151 

Busiro, the district containing the graves 
and temples of the kings of Uganda, 
ii. 168, 169, 224 
Bustard totem, i. 104 
Buto, city in Egypt, iL 10 
Butterflies, soul of a dead king incarnate 

in, ii. 164 

Byblus, Adonis at, i. 13 W* ' the J^S 8 
of, 14 sqq. ; mourning for Adonis at, 
38 ; religious prostitution at, 58 ; in- 
spired prophets at, 75 sq. ; festival of 
Adonis at, 225 ; Osiris and I sis at, 
ii. 9 ; the queen of, 9 ; Osiris associ- 
ated with, 2* sq. 127 ; its relation to 
Egypt, 127 n. 1 


Byrsa, origin of the name, ii. 250 

Cadmus turned into a snake, i. 86 sq . ; 
perhaps personated by the Laurel- 
bearer at Thebes, ii. 241 

- , Mount, i. 207 
Cadys, a Lydian, i. 183 

Caeculus, son of the fire-god Vulcan, 

Caesar introduces the Julian calendar, 

ii. 37 ; as to German observation of 

the moon, 141 
Caffre purificatory ceremonies after A 

battle, ii. 251 sq. 
Cairo, ceremony of cutting the dams At, 

ii. 38. 39 Jf 
Calabar district, heads of chiefs buned 

secretly in the, ii. 104 
Calabria, Easter custom in, i. 254 
Calauria, Poseidon worshipped in, L 

203 . 2 
Calendar, the natural, ii. 25 

- , the Alexandrian, used by Plutarch! 


II. 84 

- , the Coptic, il 6 ,* 

, the Egyptian, il 24 &$. ; date of 
its introduction, 36 *. 8 

of the Egyptian farmer, ii, 30 fy. 

- of Esne, ii. 49 sq. 

- of the Indians of Yucatan, ii. 29 n. 

- , the Julian, iL 93 w. 2 

- of the ancient Mexicans, its mode 
of intercalation, ii. 28 . * 

- of Philocalus, i. 303 *. s , 304 *.* ; 
ii. 95 n. 1 

Calendars, the Roman Rustic, ii. 95 

California, the Karok Indians of, iL, 47 i 

the Indians of, their annual festivals of 

the dead, 52 sq. 
Californian Indians eat pine nuts, i, 

278 *,* ; their notion that the owl is 

the guardian of the "California big 

tree," ii. m n. 1 
Callaway, RCT. Henry, on the worship 

of the dead among the Zulus, iL 

184 sq. 
Callirrhoe, the springs of, in Moab, L 

214 sqq. 
Calpurnius Piso, L., on the wife of 

Vulcan, ii. 232 sq. 
I Calycadnus River, in Cilicia, i. 167 .* 
Camasene and Janus, ii. 235 .* 
Cambodia, annual festival of the dead m, 

ii. 61 sq. 
Cambridge, personal relks of Kibuka, 

the war-god of the Baganda, preserved 

at, u. 197 . L . , _ . 

Cambyses, king of Persia, his treatment 

of Amasis, L 176 .* 
Cameroon negroes, expiatkm lor tent* 
cide among the, i 99 ** 



Camul, custom as to hospitality in, i. 

39 . 8 

Canaanite kings of Jerusalem, i. 17 
Canathus, Hera's annual bath in the 

spring of, i. 280 

Candaules, king of Lydia, i. 182, 183 
Canicular year, a Sothic period, ii. 36 .* 
Canopic decree, ii. 34 n. 1 , 37 ., 88 .* 
Canopus, the decree of, ii. 27 
Capaneus and Evadne, i. 177 . 3 
Cape Bedford in Queensland, belief of 
the natives as to the birth of children, 
i. 102 
Capital punishment among some peoples 

originally a sacrifice, i. 290 . a 
Capitol at Rome, ceremonies at the re- 
building of the, ii. 244 
Cappadocia, volcanic region of, i. 189 

sqq. ; fire-worship in, 191 sq. 
Car Nicobar, exorcism in, i. 299 . 2 
Carchemish, Hittite capital on Euphrates, 

i. 123, 137 n*, 138 . 
Carchi, a province of Ecuador, All Souls' 

Day in, ii. 80 
Caria, Zeus Labrandeus in, i. 182 ; 

poisonous vapours in, 205 sg. 
Carians, their mourning for Osiris, ii. 

86 n. 1 

Caribs worshipped the moon in prefer- 
ence to the sun, ii. 138 
Carlyle, Thomas, on the execution of 

the astronomer Bailly, i. 229 n. 1 
Carna and Janus, ii. 235 . 6 
Carnac, temples at, ii. 124 ; the sculp- 
tures at, 154 
Carnival at Rome in the rites of Attis, i. 


custom in Thracian villages, ii. 

99 .. 

Carpini, de Piano, on funeral customs 
of the Mongols, i. 293 

Carthage, legend and worship of Dido 
at, i. 1x3 sq. ; Hamilcar worshipped 
at, 116 ; the suffetes of, 116 n. 1 ; rites 
of Cybele at, 274 n. ; the effeminate 
priests of the Great Mother at, 298 ; 
legend as to the foundation of, ii. 250 

Casalis, E., on serpent- worship, i. 84; 
on the worship of the dead among the 
Basutos, ii. 179 sg. 

Castabala in Cappadocia, i. 168 

in Cilicia, worship of Perasian 

Artemis at, i. 1 15, 167 sqq. 

Castelnau F. de, on the reverence of the 
Apinagos for the moon, ii. 146 sq. 

Castiglione a Casauria, in the Abruzzi, 
Midsummer custom at, i. 246 

Castor's tune, i. 196 .* 

Castration of Cronus and Uranus, i. 
283 ; of sky-god, suggested explana- 
tion of, 283 ; of priests, suggested ex- 
planation of, 283 sq. 

Catafalque burnt at funeral of king of 

Siam, i. 179 
Catania in Sicily, the vineyards of, i. 194 ; 

gardens of Adonis at, 245 
Catholic Church, the ritual of the, i. 54 

ceremonies on Good Friday io the, 

254. 255 sq. 
Cato, i. 43 
Catullus on self-mutilation of a priest of 

Attis, i. 270 
Caucasus, the Albanians of the, i. 73 , 

the Chewsurs of the, ii. 65 
Cauldron, the magical, which makes the 

old young again, i. 181 
Caverns of Demeter, i. 88 
Caves, limestone, i. 152; in Semitic 

religion, 169 n. z 

Cecrops, father of Agraulus, i. 145 
Cedar forests of Cilicia, i. 149, 150 . 1 
sprung from the body of Osiris, ii 

-tree god, Osiris interpreted as a, 

ii. 109 n. 1 
Celaenae, skin of Marsyas shown at, i. 

Celebes, conduct of the inhabitants in 

an earthquake, i. 200 

, Central, the Toradjas of, ii. 33 

, Southern, marriage custom in, ii. 


Celenderis in Cilicia, i. 41 
Celtic year reckoned from November ist, 

ii. 8 1 
Censorinus, on the date of the rising of 

Sirius, ii. 34 n. 1 
Central Provinces of India, gardens of 

Adonis in the, L 242 sg. 
Ceos, the rising of Sirius observed in, ii. 

35 n. 1 ; rule as to the pollution of 

death in, 227 
Cereals cultivated in ancient Egypt, ii. 

Ceremonies, magical, for the regulation 

of the seasons, i. 3 sgq. 
Ceres married to Orcus, ii. 231 
Ceylon, beena, marriage in, ii. 215 
Chad wick, Professor H. M. , ii. 81 .* ; 

on the dismemberment of Halfdan the 

Black, 100 . 2 ; on a priest dressed as 

a woman, 259 . 2 
Change in date of Egyptian festivals 

with the adoption of the fixed Alex 

andrian year, ii. 92 sgg. 
Chants, plaintive, of corn -reapers in 

antiquity ii. 45 sg. 
Charlemagne compared to Osiris, ii. 


Charm, to protect a town, ii. 249 sgq. 
Charon, places of, i. 204, 205 
Charonia, places of Charon, i. 204 
Chastity, ceremonial, i. 43 ; ordeal of, 

115 .* 



Chent-Ament (Khenti-Amenti), title of 

Osiris, ii. 87 
Chephren, King of Egypt, his statue, ii. 

2i sg.i 
Cherokee Indians, their myth of the Old 

Woman of the corn, ii. 46 sq. ; their 

lamentations after ' ' the first working 

of the corn," 47 

Cheshire, All Souls' Day in, ii. 79 
Chewsurs of the Caucasus, their annual 

festival of the dead, ii. 65 
Cheyne, T. K., on lament for kings of 

Judah, i. 20 . a 
Chief, ancestral, reincarnate in snakes, i. 

Chiefs in the Pelew Islands, custom of 
slaying, ii. 266 sqg. 

- , dead, worshipped, ii. 175, 176, 
177* 179, 181 sg. t 187; thought to 
control the rain, 188 ; human sacri- 
fices to, 191 ; spirits of, prophesy 
through living men and women, 192 

"Child -stones." where souls of dead 
await rebirth, i. xoo 

Childbirth, primitive ignorance of the 
causes of, i. 106 sq. 

Childless women expect offspring from 
St. George, i. 78 ; resort to Baths of 
Solomon, 78 ; receive offspring from 
serpent, 86 ; resort to graves in order 
to secure offspring, 96 ; resort to hot 
springs in Syria, 213 sgg. 

Children bestowed by saints, i. 78 sq. ; 
given by serpent, 86 ; murdered that 
their souls may be reborn in barren 
women, 95 ; sacrificed to volcano in 
Siao, 219 ; sacrificed at irrigation 
channels, ii. 38 ; sacrificed by the 
Mexicans for the maize, 107 ; pre- 
sented to the moon, 144 sqq. 

- of God, i. 68 

of living parents in ritual, ii. 236 

sqq. ; apparently thought to be en- 

dowed with more vitality than others, 

247 sg. 

Chili, earthquakes in, i. 202 
Chimaera, Mount, in Lycia, perpetual 

fire on, i. 221 

China, funeral of emperor of, L 294 
Chinese author on disturbance of earth- 

spirits by agriculture, i. 89 
. " character compared to that of the 

ancient Egyptians, ii. 2x8 
Chios, men sacrificed to Dionysus in, ii. 

98 *f, 
Chiriguanos Indians of Bolivia, their 

address to the sun, it 143 .* 
Chiriqui, volcano, I 181 
Chittim (Citium) in Cyprus, i. 3* 
Chnum of Elephantine identified with 

the sun, ii. 123 

Choctaws, their annual festival of the 
dead, ii. 53 sq. 

Christ crucified on March 25th, tradition, 
i. 306 

Christian, F. W., on the prostitution of 
unmarried girls in Yap, ii. 265 sq. 

Christian festivals displace heathen festi- 
vals, i. 308 

Christianity and paganism, their resem- 
blances explained as diabolical counter- 
feits, i. 302, 309 sg. 

Christians and pagans, their controversy 
as to Easter, i. 309 sq. 

Christmas, festival of, borrowed from 
the Mithraic rel:gion, i. 302 sgg, ; the 
heathen origin of, 305 

Chu-en-aten, name assumed by King 
Amenophis IV., ii. 124 

Chukchees of North - Eastern Asia, 
effeminate sorcerers among the, ii. 

Cicero at Cybistra, i. 122 .*; corre- 
sponds with Cilician king, 145 .* 

Cilicia, male deity of, assimilated to 
Zeus, i 118 sq. ; kings of, their affinity 
to Sandan, 144 ; the Assyrians in, 173 

, Western or Rugged, described, i. 

148 sqq. ; fossils of, 152 sq. 

Cilician deity assimilated to Zeus, L 144 
sgg. t 148, 152 

Gates, pass of the, i. 120 

goddesses, i 161 sqq. 

gods, the burning of, L 170 jy. 

pirates, t 149 sq. 

priests, names of, i. 144 

Cincius Alimentus, L., on Mala as tht 
wife of Vulcan, ii. 232 

Cinyrads, dynasty of the, i. 41 sqq. 

Cinyras, the father of Adonis, i, 13, 14* 
49 ; king of Byblus, 27 ; founds sanc- 
tuary of Astarte, 28; said to have 
instituted religious prostitution, 41, 
50 ; his daughters, 41, 50 ; his riches, 
42 ; his incest, 43 ; wooed by Aphro- 
dite, 48 sq. ; meaning of the name, 
52 ; the friend of Apollo, 54 ; legends 
of his death, 55 

Ciotat in Provence, bathing at Mid- 
summer at, i. 248 

Circumcision, exchange of dress between 
men and women at, it 263 

Citiura (Chittim)* in Cyprus, i. 31, 50 

Civilization, ancient, undermined by 
Oriental religions and other causes, 
i. 299 jgf. 

Claudianus, Lucius Mimus, i. 164 

Claudius, the Emperor, and the rites of 
Attis, L 266 

Claudius Gothkus, the Emperor, L 

Clavigero, on the Mexican calendar, & 
09 . 



Cleomenes, King of Sparta, and serpents, 

* 8 7 ^ J - 

Cleon of Magnesia at Gades, i. 113 

Climatic and geographical conditions, 
their effect on national character, n. 

Clymenus, king of Arcadia, his incest, i. 

44 n ^ 
Cnossus in Crete, prehistoric palace at, 

i- 34 

Cochinchina, annual festival of the dead 

in, ii. 65 . . 

Cock as emblem of a priest of Attis, i. 

Codrington, Dr. R. H., on mother-kin 

in Melanesia, ii. 211 
Coimbatore, dancing-girls at, i. 62 
Coincidence between the Christian and 

the heathen festivals of the divine 

death and resurrection, i. 308 sq. 
Cologne, Petrarch at, on St. John's Eve, 

i. 247 sq. 
Colombia, rule as to the felling of timber 

in, ii. 136 

Comana, in Cappadocia, i. 136 . 
in Pontus, worship of goddess Ma 

at, i. 39 ; swine not allowed to enter, 

265 n. 1 

, the two cities, i. 168 . 6 

Commemoration of the Dead at Athens, 

L 234 
Commodus, conspiracy against, i. 273 ; 

addicted to the worship of Isis, ii. 118 
Communal rights over women, L 40 

61 n. 

Compromise ot Christianity with pagan- 
ism, parallel with Buddhism, i. 310 

Conception, supposed, without sexual 

intercourse, i. 91, 93 *- 2 a6 4' in 
women supposed to be caused by 
food, 96, 102, 103, 104, 105. See 
also Impregnation 

Conceptional animals and plants as causes 
of pregnancy in women, i. 97 sq. , 104 


Concubines, human, of the god Ammon, 

i 72 

Conder, C R., on " holy men " in Syria, 
i. 77 *> ; on turning money at the 

new moon, n. 149 - 2 
Condylea in Arcadia, sacred grove of 

Artemis at, i. 291 
Cone, image of Astarte, i 14 
Cones as emblems of a goddess, i. 34 

sqq.i votive, found in Babylonia, 350.* 
Confession of the dead, the Egyptian, ii. 

13 *y. 

Confucianism, ii. z6o 
Coago, burial of infants on the, i. 91 ; 

priest dressed as a woman on the, ii. 

Conibos Indians of the Ucayali Rifei 

their theory of earthquakes, i. 198 
Conical stone as divine emblem, i. 165, 

1 66 

Constantine destroys temple of Astarte, 
i. 28 ; suppresses sacred prostitution, 
37 ; removes standard cubit from the 
Serapeum, ii. 216 sq. 

Census and Ops, ii. 233 . 8 

Contest for the throne of Egypt, tradi- 
tions of a, ii. 17 sq. 

Cook, A. B., i. 49 *- 6 * on namc * 
priest of Corycian Zeus, 155 n. 1 ; on 
the death of Romulus, ii. 98n. a ; on the 
festival of Laurel-bearing at Thebes, 
241 .*; on traces of mother-kin in 
the myth and ritual of Hercules, 
259 n.* 

Coomassie, in Ashantee, i. 201 

Copenhagen, bathing on St. John's Eve 
at, i. 248 

Coptic calendar, ii. 6 .* ^ 

Corea, dance of eunuchs in, i. 270 a. 2 

Coreans, their ceremony on the fifteenth 
day of the moon, ii. 143 

Com sprouting from the dead body of 
Osiris, ii. 89 ; water thrown on the 
last corn cut, a rain-charm, i. 237 


and grapes, symbols of the god of 

Tarsus, i. 119, 143 ; of the god of 
Ibreez, 121 ; figured with double- 
headed axe on Lydian coin, 183 

and vine, emblems of the gods of 

Tarsus and Ibreez, i. 160 sq. 

god, Adonis as a, i. 230 sqq. ; Attis 

as a, 279 ; mourned at midsummer, 
ii. 34 ; Osiris as a, 89 sqq. , 96 sqq. 

reaping in Egypt, Palestine, and 

Greece, date of the, i. 231 .* 

sieve, severed limbs of Osiris placed 

on a, ii. 97 A _, . 

spirit, Tammuz or Adonis as a, 

L 230 sqq.\ propitiation of the, per- 
haps fused with a worship of the 
dead, 233 sqq.\ represented as a dead 
old man, ii. 48, 96 ; represented by 
human victims, 97, 106 sq. 

stuffed effigies of Osiris buried 

with the dead as a symbol of resurrec- 
tion, ii. 90 sq., 114 

wreaths as first-fruits, i. 43 I worn 

by Arval Brethren, i. 44 *- 
Coronation, human sacrifices to prolong 

a king's life at his, U. a3 
Corycian cave, priests of Zeus at the, i. 
145 ; the god of the. 152 sqq. ; de- 
scribed, 153 sq. ; saffron at the, 187 ; 
name perhaps derived from crocus, 


Corycus in Cilicia, rains of, i. 153 
Cos, traces of mother-kin in, ii. 259; 


Sacred Marriage in, 259 . 4 ; bride- 
groom dressed as woman in, 260 

Cosenza in Calabria, Easter custom at, 
I 254 

Cotys, king of Lydia, i. 187 

Cow, image of, in the rites of Osiris, ii. 
50, 84 ; Isis represented with the head 
of a, 50 ; thought to be impregnated 
by moonshine, 130,5?. 

goddess Shenty, ii. 88 

Cows sacred to Isis, ii. 50 

Creation of the world thought to be 
annually repeated, i. 384 

Crescent - shaped chest in the rites of 
Osiris, ii. 85, 130 

Crests of the Cilician pirates, i. 149 

Crete, sacred trees and pillars in, i. 
107 . 2 

Crimea, the Taurians of the, i. 294 

Crocodile-shaped hero, i. 139 n. 1 

Croesus, king of Lydia, captures Pteria, 
i. 128 ; the burning of, 174 sqq. t 179 ; 
his burnt offerings to Apollo at Delphi, 
1 80 n. 1 ; dedicates golden lion at 
Delphi, 184 ; his son Atys, 286 

Cronion, a Greek month, ii. 238 

Cronus, identified with Phoenician 1, i. 
166 ; castrates his father Uranus and 
is castrated by his son Zeus, 283 ; 
name applied to winter, ii. 41 

Crook and scourge or flail, the emblems 
of Osiris, ii. 108, 153, compare 20 

Crooke, W. t on sacred dancing-girls, i. 
65 .* ; on Mohammedan saints, 78 
. 2 ; on infant burial, 93 sg. ; on the 
custom of the False Bride, ii. 262 .* 

Crops dependent on serpent-god, i. 67 ; 
human victims sacrificed for the, 
290 sg. 

Cross-roads, burial at, i. 93 n. 1 

Crown wearer, priest of Hercules at 
Tarsus, i. 143 

Crowns as amulets, ii. 242 sg. ; laid 
aside in mourning, etc., 243 .* 

of Egypt, the White and the Red, 

ii. 21 n. 1 

Crucifixion of Christ, tradition as to the 
date of, i. 306 

of human victims at Benin, i. 294 

*.' ; gentile, at the spring equinox. 

Crux ansata, the Egyptian symbol of 

life, ii. 89 
Cubit, the standard, kept in the temple 

of Serapis, ii. 217 
Cultivation of staple food in the hands 

of women (Pelew Islands), ii. 206 sg. 
Cumont, Professor Franz, on the tauro- 

folium, i. 275 j*. 1 ; on the Nativity of 

the Sun, 303 n. 3 ; as to the parallel 

between Easter and the rites of Attis, 

310 l 

Customs of the Pelew Islanders, it 253 

sqq. , 266 sqq. 

Cuthar, father of Adonis, i. 13 . 
Cuttings for the dead, i. 268 
Cyaxares, king of the Medes, i. 133 *., 


Cybele, the image of, i, 35 .*; her 
cymbals and tambourines, 54 ; her 
lions and turreted crown,, 137 ; priests 
of, called Attis, 140; the Mother of 
the Gods, 263 ; her love for Attis, 
263, 282 ; her worship adopted by 
the Romans, 265 ; sacrifice of virility 
to image of, 268 ; subterranean cham- 
bers of, 268 ; orgiastic rites of, 378 ; 
a goddess of fertility, 279 ; wor- 
shipped in Gaul, 279 ; fasts observed 
by the worshippers of, 280 ; a friend 
of Marsyas, 288 ; effeminate priests 
of, ii. 257, 258 

Cybistra in Cappadocia, i. 120, 122, 134 

Cymbal, drinking out of a, i. 374 

Cymbals in religious music, i. 52, 54 

and tambourines in worship of 

Cybele, i. 54 

Cynopolis, the cemetery of r ii. 90 

Cypriote syllabary, i. 49 . 7 

Cyprus, Phoenicians in, i. 31 sq.\ Adonis 
in, 31 sqq. \ sacred prostitution in, 36, 
50, 59 ; Melcarth worshipped in, 117 ; 
human sacrifices in, 145 sq. ; the 
bearded Venus in, ii. 259 n* 

Cyril of Alexandria on the festival of 
Adonis at Alexandria, L 224 .* 

Cyrus and Croesus, i. 174 sqq. 

Cyacus, worship of the Placianian Mother 
at, i. 274 n. 

Dacia, hot springs in, L 313 

Dacotas, their theory of the waning moon, 
ii. 130 

Dad pillar. See Ded pillar 

Dahomans, their annual festival of the 
dead, ii. 66 

Dahomey, kings of, their human sacri- 
fices, ii. 97 . 7 

Dairyman, sacred, of the Todas, hi* 
custom as to the pollution of death, 
ii. 228 ; bound to live apart from his 
wife, 229 

Dalisandos in Isauria, inscriptions at, B. 
213 n. 1 

Damascus, Aramean kings of, L 15 

Damasen, a giant, i. 186 

Damatrius, a Greek month, ii. 49 n. 1 

Dams in Egypt, the cutting of the, iL 
31 sq., 37 r#., 39^. 

Dance of eunuchs in Corea, I 970 *,* ; 
on the Congo, 271 n. ; of bermapfe- 
rodites in Pegu, 271 n. ; sacred, at 
the Sed festival, ii 154; of king before 
the ghosts of his ancestor, 199 




Dances, religious, i. 61, 65, 68 
festivals of the dead, ii. 52, 53, 
58, 59 ; at the new moon, 142 
Dancing-girls in India, harlots and wives 

of the gods, L 61 sqq. 
Danh-gbi, python-god, i. 66 
Darmesteter, James, on the Fravashis, 
ii. 67 n. 2 ; his theory as to the date of 
the Gatkas, ii. 84 n. 
JDdst, dancing-girl, i. 63 
Dastarkon in Cappadocia, i. 147 n.* 
Dates forbidden to worshippers of Cybele 

and Attis, L 280 
Daughter of a god, i. 51 
David, King, in relation to the old kings 
of Jerusalem, i. 18 sq. ; his conquest 
of Ammon, 19 ; his taking of a census, 
24 ; as a harper, 52, 53, 54 
and Goliath, i. 19 . 2 

and Saul, i. 21 

Davis, Mr. R. F., on harvest custom in 

Nottinghamshire, i. 238 n. 
Day of Blood in rites of Attis, i. 268, 

De Piano Carpini, on the funeral customs 

of the Mongols, L 293 
Dea Dia, a Roman goddess of fertility, 

ii. 239 

Dead, Festival of the, in Java, i. 220 ; 
worship of the, perhaps fused with the 
propitiation of the corn-spirit, 233 sqq. 
cuttings for the, 268 ; Osiris king and 
judge of the, ii. 13 sq. ; the Egyptian, 
identified with Osiris, x6; annual 
festivals of the, 51 sqq. \ the spirits of 
the, personated by living men, 52, 53, 
58 ; magical uses made of their bodies, 
100 sqq. ; worship of the, among the 
Bantu tribes of Africa, 176 sqq. See 
also Ancestral spirits 

, reincarnation of the, i 82 sqq. ; in 

America, 91 ; in Africa, 91 sq. 
kings and chiefs worshipped in 
Africa, ii. 160 sqq. ; sacrifices offered 
to, 162, 166 sq. ; incarnate in animals, 
162, 163 sq. , 173 ; consulted as oracles, 
167, 171, 172, 195 ; human sacrifices 
to, 173 ; worshipped by the Barotse, 


men believed to beget children, i 
, 264 

Sea, i. 23 

Death in the fire as an apotheosis, i. 179 
sq. ; the pollution of, ii. 227 sqq. 

and resurrection, annual, of gods, 
L 6 ; of Adonis represented in his rites, 
224 sq. ;. coincidence between the pagan 
and the Christian festival of the divine, 
308 ; of Osiris dramatically represented 
in his rites, it 85 sq. ; of Osiris inter- 
preted as the decay and growth of 
vegetation, 126 sqq. 

December, the twenty-fifth of, reckoned 

the winter solstice, and the birthday of 

the Sun, i. 303 sqq. 
Decline of the civic virtues under the 

influence of Oriental religions, i. 300 

Ded or tet pillar, the backbone of Osiris, 

ii. lo&sq. 
Dedicated men and women in Africa, i 

65 sqq. 
Dedication of girls to the service of a 

temple, i. 61 sqq. \ of children to gods, 


Dee, river, holed stone in the, i. 36 n.* 
Defoe, Daniel, on the Angel of the 

Plague, i. 24 n* 

Delos, sacred embassy to, ii. 244 
Delphi, Apollo and the Dragon at, ii. 


Ddphinivm Ajacis, i. 3x4 n. 1 
Demeter, her sacred caverns, i. 88; 

sacred vaults of, 278 ; sorrowing for 

the descent of the Maiden, ii. 41 ; the 

month of, 41 ; mysteries of, at Eleusis, 

90; at the well, xxx *.*; identified 

with Isis, 117 

and ears of corn, i x66 

and Poseidon, i. 280 

and the king's son at Eleusis, L 

Denderah, inscriptions at, ii. xx, 86 sqq., 

89, 91, 130 n. ; the hall of Osiris at, 


Derceto, goddess at Ascalon, i. 34 n. 9 
Dervishes revered in Syria, i. 77 n.* ; of 

Asia Minor, 170 

Deucalion at Hierapolis, i. 162 *.* 
Deuteronomic redactor, i. 26 . 1 
Deuteronomy, publication of , i. 18 *.* 
Deutsch-Zepling in Transylvania, rule as 

to sowing in, ii. 133 .* 
Devaddsi, dancing-girl, i. 63 sq. 
Dtv&rati&l t dancing-girl, i. 63 
Dew, bathing in the, on Midsummer 

Eve or Day, i. 246 sq., 248 ; a 

daughter of Zeus and the moon, ii 

Diabolical counterfeits, resemblances of 

paganism to Christianity explained as, 
L 302, 309 sq. 
Diana, a Mother Goddess, L 45 ; her 

sanctuary at Nemi, 45 
Dianus and Diana, L 27, 45 
Dido flees from Tyre, i. 50 ; her tradi- 
tional death in the fire, 1x4; wor- 
shipped at Carthage, 1x4; meaning 
of the name, 114 n. 1 ; an Avatar of 
Astarte, 177 ; how she procured the 
site of Carthage, ii. 250 
Dinant, feast of All Souls in, ii 70 
Dinkard t a Pahlavi work, ii. 68 . a 
Dinkas, their belief in serpents as rein- 



carnations of the dead, i. 82 sq. ; pour 
milk on graves, 87 
Dio Chrysostom, on the people of Tarsus, 

i. 118 ; on pyre at Tarsus, 126 n. 1 
Diodorus Siculus, on worship of Poseidon 
in Peloponnese, i. 203 ; on the burial 
of Osiris, ii. 10 sg, ; on the rise of the 
Nile, 31 n. 1 ; on the date of harvest 
in Egypt, 32 . a ; on Osiris as a sun- 
god, 120 ; on the predominance of 
women over men in ancient Egypt, 
Diomede, human sacrifices to, i. 145 

Dionysus in form of bull, i. 123 ; with 
vine and ploughman on a coin, 166 ; 
ancient interpretation of, 194, 213 ; 
death, resurrection, and ascension of, 
302 n. 4 ; torn in pieces, ii. 98 ; human 
sacrifices to, in Chios, 98 sg. ; his 
coarse symbolism, 113; identified with 
Osiris, 113 ; race of boys at vintage 
from his sanctuary, 238 ; men dressed 
as women in the rites of, 258 ; the 
effeminate, 259 

Diospolis Parva (How), monument of 
Osiris at, ii. no 

Diphilus, king of Cyprus, i. 146 

Disc, winged, as divine emblem, i. 132 

Discoloration, annual, of the river Adonis, 
i. 30, 225 

Discovery of the body of Osiris, ii. 85 

Disease of language the supposed source 
of myths, ii. 42 

Disguises to avert the evil eye, ii. 262 ; 
to deceive dangerous spirits, 262 sq. t 
263 sq. 

Dismemberment of Osiris, suggested ex- 
planations of the, ii. 97 ; of Halfdan 
the Black, king of Norway, 100, 102 ; 
of Segera, a magician of Kiwai, 101 ; 
of kings and magicians, and use of 
their severed limbs to fertilize the 
country, 101 sq. ; of the bodies of the 
dead to prevent their souls from be- 
coming dangerous ghosts, 188 

Ditino, deified dead kings, ii. 194 

Divination at Midsummer, i. 252 sq. 

Divining bones, ii. 180, 181 

Divinities of the volcano Kirauea, L 2x7 

Divinity of Semitic kings, i. 15 sgg. ; of 
Lydian kings, 182 sgg. 

Dixmude, in Belgium, feast of All Souls 
at, ii. 70 

Dobrizhoffer, M. , on the respect of the 
Abipones for the Pleiades, i. 258 . a 

Doctrine of lunar sympathy, ii. 140 sgq. 

D6d, beloved," i. 19 n,\ 20 . a 

Dog-star. See Sirius 

Doliche in Commagene, i. 136 

Domaszewski, Professor A. , on the rites 
of Attis at Rome, i. 266 . a 

Dorasques of Panama, their theory of 
earthquakes, i. 201 

Dos Santos, J., Portuguese historian, on 
the method adopted by a Caffre king 
to prolong his life, ii. 222 sq. 

Double, the afterbirth or placenta, re- 
garded as a person's double, ii. 169 

headed axe, symbol of Sandan, i. 

127; carried by Lydian kings, 182; a 
palladium of the Heraclid sovereignty, 
182 ; figured on coins, 183 . 

headed eagle, Hittite emblem, i. 

Doutte*. Edmond, on sacred prostitution 

in Morocco, i. 39 .* 
Doves burnt in honour of Adonis, i. 

126 . 2 , 147 
, sacred, of Aphrodite, i. 33 ; or 

Astarte, 147 
Dowries earned by prostitution, i. 38, 

Dragon slain by Cadmus at Thebes, ii. 


and Apollo, at Delphi, ii 240 

Drama, sacred, of the death and resur 
rection of Osiris, ii. 85 sg. 

Dramas, magical, for the regulation of 
the seasons, i. 4 sg. 

Dramatic representation of the resur- 
rection of Osiris in his rites, ii. 85 

Dreams, revelations given to sick people 
by Pluto and Persephone in, i. 205; 
spirits of the dead appear to the living 
in, ii. 162, 190 ; as causes of attempted 
transformation of men into women, 

255 W 
Drenching last corn cut with water as a 

rain-charm, L 237 sq. 

Drinking out of a king's skull in order to 
be inspired by his spirit, ii. 171 

Drought, kings answerable for, i. 21 sq. 

Drum, eating out of a, i. 274 

Drums, human sacrifice for royal, ii. 223, 

Duchesne, Mgr. L., on the origin of 
Christmas, I 305 .* ; on the date of 
the Crucifixion, 307 

Dyaks of Sarawak, their custom of head- 
hunting, i. 295 sq. 

Ea, Babylonian god, i. 9 
Eagte to carry soul to heaven, t ia6 
sq. ; double-headed, Hittite embta, 

133 * 
Ears of corn, emblem of Demeter, i, 


Earth as the Great Mother, i af 
and sky, myth of their 

separation, i. 283 
, the goddess, mother of Typhon, I 




Earth-goddess annually married to Sun- 
god, i. 47 sq. ; disturbed by the opera- 
tions of husbandry, 88 sqq. ; married 
to Sky-god, 282, with n. a 

spirits disturbed by agriculture, i. 


Earthquake god, i. 194 sqq. 

Earthquakes, attempts to stop, i. 196 

East, mother-kin and Mother Goddesses 
in the ancient, ii. 212 sqq. 

Easter, gardens of Adonis at, in Sicily, i. 
3 53 s <2- resemblance of the festival 
of, to the rites of Adonis, 254 sqq., 
306; the festival of. assimilated to 
the spring festival of Attis, 306 sqq. \ 
controversy between Christians and 
pagans as to the origin of, 309 sq. 

41 Eater of the Dead," fabulous Egyptian 
monster, ii. 14 

Eclipse of the moon, Athenian super* 
stition as to an, ii. 141 

Eden, the tree of life in, i. 186 . 4 

Edom, the kings of, i. 15; their bones 
burned by the Moabites, ii. 104 

Edonians in Thrace, Lycurgus king of 
the, ii. 98, 99 

Eesa, a Somali tribe, ii. 246 

Effect of geographical and climatic con- 
ditions on national character, ii. 217 

Effeminate sorcerers or priests, order of, 
ii. 253 sqq. 

Effigies of Osiris, stuffed with corn, 
buried with the dead as a symbol of 
resurrection, ii. 90 sq., 114 

Egypt, wives of Ammon in, i. 72 ; date 
of the corn-reaping in, 231 .* ; the 
Nativity of the Sun at the winter 
solstice in, 303 ; in early June, ii. 31 ; 
mother-kin in ancient, 213 sqq. 
Egyptian astronomers acquainted with 
the true length of the solar year, ii. 
6, 27, 37 n r 

calendar, the official, ii. 24 sqq. ; 
date of its introduction, 36 , a 

ceremony at the winter solstice, 

ii. 5* 

dead identified with Osiris, ii. x6 
farmer, calendar of the, ii. 30 sqq. ; 

his festivals, ii 32 sqq. 

festivals, their dates shifting, ii. 24 
sq. t 92 sqq. ; readjustment of, 91 sqq. 

funeral rites a copy of those per- 
formed over Osiris, ii. 15 

hope of immortality centred in 
Osiris, ii. 15 s$. t 114, 159 

kings worshipped as gods, i. 52 ; 
the most ancient, buried at Abydos, ii. 
19 ; their oath not to correct the vague 
Egyptian year by intercalation, 26; 
perhaps formerly slain in the char- 
icter of Osiris, 97 sq. t xoa ; as Osiris, 

151 sqq. \ renew their life by identifying 
themselves with the dead and risen 
Osiris, 153 sq. \ born again at the Sed 
festival, 153, 155^. ; perhaps formerly 
put to death to prevent their bodily 
and mental decay, 154 sq., 156 

Egyptian language akin to the Semitic, 


11. 10 1 

months, table of, ii. 37 . 

myth of the separation of earth and 

sky, i. 283 . 8 
people, the conservatism of their 

character, ii. 2x7 sq. \ compared to 

the Chinese, 218 

reapers, their lamentations and invo- 
cations of Isis, i. 232, ii. 45, 117 
religion, the development of, it 122 

sqq. ; dominated by Osiris, 158 sq. 
standard resembling a placenta, ii. 

156 n. 1 

year vague, not corrected by inter- 
calation, ii. 24 sq. ; the sacred, began 

with the rising of Sinus, 35 
Egyptians sacrifice red-haired men, ii. 

97, x 06 ; the ancient, question of their 

ethnical affinity, 161 
Ekoi of Southern Nigeria, their custom 

of mutilating men and women at 

festivals, i. 270 . 2 

El, Phoenician god, i. 13, 16 n. 1 ; identi- 
fied with Cronus, 166 
El-Bugat, festival of mourning for 

Tammuz in Harran, i. 230 
Elam, the kings of, their bones carried 

off by Ashurbanipal, ii. 103 sq. 
Eleusis, Demeter and the king's son at, 

i. 1 80 ; sacrifice of oxen at, 292 n. s ; 

mysteries of Demeter at, ii. 90 
Eli, the sons of, i. 76 
Elisha prophesies to music, i. 53, 54; 

finds water in the desert, 53, 75 
Ellis, A. B., on sacred prostitution in 

West Africa, i. 65 sq. t 69 sq. ; on 

tattoo marks of priests, 74 . 4 ; on an 

ordeal of chastity, 115 
Eroesa, sun-god Heliogabalus at, i. 35 
Empedocles leaps into the crater of Etna, 

i. 181 

Emperor of China, funeral of an, i. 394 
'EvayLfav distinguished from ftta?, i 

3x6 . 1 

Enemy, charms to disable an, ii. 252 
England, harvest custom in, I 237 ; the 

feast of AH Souls in, ii. 78 sq. 
Ennuis, on Hora and Quirinus, ii. 233 
" Entry of Osiris into the moon," it 130 
Enylus, king of Byblus, L 15 n. 
Ephesus, Artemis of, i. 269 ; Hecate at, 
291 ; the priesthood of Apollo and 
Artemis at, ii. 243 sq. 
Epidaurus, Aesculapius at, i. 80 
Epiphany, the sixth of January, L 305 


fipirus, the kings of, their bones scattered 
by Lysimachus, ii. 104 

Equinox, the vernal, resurrection of 
Attis at the, i. 273, 307 sg. ; date of 
the Crucifixion assigned to the spring 
equinox, 307 ; tradition that the world 
was created at the spring equinox, 


Erechtheum, sacred serpent in the, i. 87 

Erechtheus, king of Athens, his incest 
with his daughter, i. 44 jr. 1 ; his sacred 
serpent, 87 

Eregh (the ancient Cybistra) in Cappa- 
docia, i. 120, 122 

Eresh-Kigal, Babylonian goddess, i. 9 

Erica-lrte, Osiris in the, ii. 9, 108, 109 

Eriphyle, the necklace of, i. 32 . 3 

Erman, Professor A., on Anubis at 
Abydos, ii. 18 .*; on corn -stuffed 
effigies of Osiris, 91 ; on the develop- 
ment of Egyptian religion, 122 n. 8 

Erme or Ncnneri, gardens of Adonis in 
Sardinia, i. 244 

Eshmun, Phoenician deity, L in . e 

Esne, the festal calendar of, ii. 49 sg. 

Esquimaux of Alaska, their annual 
festival of the dead, i. 51 sq. 

Esthonian peasants regulate their sowing 
and planting by the moon, ii. 135 

Esthonians, their ceremony at the new 
moon, ii. 143 

Eternal life, initiate born again to, in 
the rites of Cybele and Attis, i, 274 sg. 

Etesian winds, i. 35 n. 1 

Etna, Mount, Typhon buried under, i. 
156^157; the death of Empedocles 
on,"i8i ; the ashes of, 194 ; offerings 
thrown into the craters of, 221 

Euboea subject to earthquakes, i. 2x1 ; 
date of threshing in, 232 n. ; harvest 
custom in, 238 

Eudoxus, on the Egyptian festivals, ii. 

35 - 8 

Eunuch, priests of the Mother Goddess, 

L 206 ; in the service of Asiatic god- 
desses of fertility, 269 sq. ; in various 
lands, 270 ft. 2 ; of Attis tattooed with 
pattern of ivy, 278 ; of Cybele, ii. 258 

Eunuchs, dances of, L 270 .*, 271 n.\ 
dedicated to a goddess in India, 271 . ; 
sacred, at Hierapolis-Bambyce, their 
rule as to the pollution of death, ii. 272 

Euripides on the death of Pentheus, ii. 
98 . 5 

Europe, custom of showing money to 
the new moon in, ii. 148 *?. 

Eusebius on sacred prostitution, i. 37 #.', 

73 ' 
Euyuk in Cappadocia, Hittite palace at, 

L 123, 132, 133 *. ; bull worshipped 
at, 164 
Evadne and Capaneus, i. 177 .* 


Evil Eye, boys dressed as girls to avert 
the, ii. 260 ; bridegroom disfigured in 
order to avert the, 261 ; disguises to 
avert the, 262 

Ewe farmers fear to wound the Earth 
goddess, i 90 

people of Togo-land, their belief in 

the marriage of Sky with Earth, i 
282 n.* 

-speaking peoples of the Slave 

Coast, sacred prostitution among the, 
i. 65 sg. ; worship pythons, 83 ft.* 

Exchange of dress between men and 
women in rites, ii. 259 n.* ; at mar- 
riage, 260 sqq. \ at circumcision, 263 

Exogamous clans in the Pclew Islands, 
ii. 204 

Exorcism by means of music, i. 54 

Expiation for homicide, i. 299 
Roman, for prodigies, ii. 244 

Eye as a symbol of Osiris, ii. 121 ; of 
sacrificial ox cut out, 251 sq* 

of Horus, ii. 17, 121 with *.* 

, the Evil, boys dressed as girls to 

avert the, ii. 260 ; bridegroom dis- 
figured in order to avert, 261 

Eyes of the dead, Egyptian ceremony of 
opening the, ii. 15 

Ezekiel on the mourning for Tammuz, L 
xx, 17, 20 ; on the Assyrian cavalry, 
25 *.* ; on the king of Tyre, 114 

False Bride, custom of the n. 262 *.* 

Farnell, Dr. L* R., on Greek religious 
music, i. 55 n. 1 and 1 ; on religious 
prostitution in Western Asia, 57 n. l t 
58 . 2 ; on the position of women in 
ancient religion, ii. 2x2 n. 1 ; on the 
Flamen Dialis, 227 ; on the children 
of living parents in ritual, 236 sg. ; on 
the festival of Laurel - bearing at 
Thebes, 242 *. ; on eunuch priests of 
Cybele, 258 i*. 1 

Farwardajan, a Persian festival of the 
dead, ii. 68 

Fast from bread in mourning lor Attis, 
i. 272 

Fasts observed by the worshippers of 
Cybele and Attis, i. 280 ; of Isk and 
Cybele, 302 **. 4 

Father named after his son, L 51 . 4 ; of 
a god, 51, 52 ; dead, worshipped, $ 
175, 184 sq. i the bead of the fiamfly 
under a system of mother-kin, an 

deity of the Hittites, the god of 

the thundering sky, L 134 S&. 

God, his emblem the bull, i 164; 

Attis as the, 281 w- \ often test im- 
portant than Mother Goddess, *$* 

kin At Rome, i 41 

, Mother, and Son divinities re- 
presented at Boghar-Kem, L 140 iff . 



Father Sky fertilizes Mother Earth, i. 282 

and mother, names for, i. 281 ; as 

epithets of Roman gods and goddesses, 

it 233 sqq. 

Fatherhood of God, the physical, i. 80 sq. 
Fauna, rustic Roman goddess, her 

relationship to Faunus, ii. 234 
Faunus, old Roman god, his relationship 

to Fauna or the Good Goddess, ii. 

Feast of All Saints on November ist, 

perhaps substituted for an old pagan 
festival of the dead, ii. 82 sq. ; insti- 
tuted by Lewis the Pious, 83 

of All Souls, ii. 51 sqq. ; the Chris- 
tian, originally a pagan festival of the 
dead, 81 

of the Golden Flower at Sardes, i. 

Fire, peipetual, in Zoroastrian religion, 

i. 191 ; worshipped, 191 sqq. \ in the 

temples of dead kings, ii. 174 
god, the father of Romulus, Ser- 

vius Tullius, and Caeculus, ii. 235 
walk of the king of Tyre, i. 114 

sq. ; of priestesses at Castabala, 168 

-worship in Cappadocia, i. 191 sq. 

Firmicus Maternus, on the mourning for 

Osiris, ii. 86 ; on use of a pine-tree in 

the rites of Osiris, 108 
First-born, Semitic sacrifice of the, i. 

no ; the sacrifice of, at Jerusalem, ii. 

219 sq. 
fruits offered to the Baalim, i. 27 ; 

offered to the Mother of the Gods, 

of Lanterns in Japan, ii. 63 
Feet first, children born, custom observed 

at their graves, i. 93 

Felkin, R. W. and C. T. Wilson, on the 
worship of the dead kings of Uganda, 
ii. 173 .* 
Fellows, Ch., on flowers in Caria, i. 

187 .* 

Female kinship, rule of descent of the 
throne under, ii. 18. See also Mother- 

Fertility of ground thought to be pro- 
moted by prostitution, i. 39 ; promoted 
by marriage of women to serpent, 67 ; 
goddesses of, served by eunuch priests, 
269 sq. ; Osiris as a god of, ii. 112 sq. 
Fertilization of the fig, artificial, ii. 98 
Festival of " the awakening of Hercules " 
at Tyre. i. in ; of the Dead in Java, 
220; of Flowers (Antkestcria), 234 
sq. ; of Joy (Hilaria) in the rites of 
Attis, 273 ; of Sais, ii. 49 sqq. ; of 
Crowning at Delphi, 241 
Festivals of the Egyptian farmer, ii. 
32 sqq. ; of Osiris, the official, 49 sqq. ; 
Egyptian readjustment of, 91 sqq, 
Fetishism early in human history, ii. 43 
" Field of the giants/ 1 i. 158 
Fig, artificial fertilization of the, at 

Rome in July, ii. 98, 259 
Fiji, chiefs buried secretly in, ii. 105 
Fijian god of fruit-trees, i. 90 
, Lent, i. 90 
Fijians, their theory of earthquakes, i 


Financial oppression, Roman, i. 301 .* 
Finlay, George, on Roman financial 

oppression, i, 301 , a 
Fire, purification by, i, 115 *.\ 179 sqq. ; 
Persian reverence for, 174 sq. ; death 
in the, as an apotheosis, 179 sq. \ sup- 
posed able to impregnate women, ii. 


n. 1 ; offered to dead chiefs, ii. 

Firstlings offered to the Baalim, i. 27 
Fish, soul of dead in, i. 95 sq, 
Fison, Rev. Lorimer, on Fijian god of 
earthquakes, i. 202 n, ; on secret 
burial of chiefs in Fiji, ii. 105 
Flail or scourge, an emblem of Osiris, ii. 
1 08, 153 ; for collecting incense, 109 
n. 1 

Flamen forbidden to divorce his wife, ii. 
229; of Vulcan, 232 

Dialis, the widowed, ii. 227 sqq. ; 

forbidden to touch a dead body, but 
allowed to attend a funeral, 228 ; 
bound to be married, 229 

Dialis and Flaminica, i. 45 sq. ; 

assisted by boy and girl of living 
parents, ii. 236 
Flamingoes, soul of a dead king incarnate 

in, ii. 163 
Flaminica and her husband the Flamen 

Dialis, i. 45 sq. , ii. 236 
Flax, omens from the growth of, L 


Flower of the banana, women impreg- 
nated by the, i. 93 

of Zeus," i. 186, 187 

Flowers and leaves as talismans, ii. 242 


Flute, skill of Marsyas on the, i. 288 
music, its exciting influence, i. 

players dressed as women at Rome, 

ii. 259 *.* 
Flutes played in the laments for Tammuz, 

i. 9 ; for Adonis, 225 ,* 
Food, virgins supposed to conceive 

through eating certain, i. 96 ; as a 

cause of conception in women, 96, 

102, 103, 104, 105 
Foreigners as kings, i. 16 . 
Fortuna Primigenia, goddess of Prae- 

neste, daughter of Jupiter, ii. 234 
Fortune of the city on coins of Tarsus, i 

164 ; the guardian of cities, 164 



Fossil bones in limestone caves, i. 153 
sq. ; a source of myths about giants*, P., identifies Dionysus with 

Osiris, ii, 113 . 3 
Four-handed Apollo, ii. 250 . s 
Fowler, W. Warde, on the celibacy of 

the Roman gods, ii. 230, 332 n. 1 , 

234*-. 23 6 n - 1 
Fra Angelico, his influence on Catholi- 

cism, i. 54 n. 1 
France, harvest custom in, i. 237 ; 

timber felled in the wane of the 

moon in, ii. 136 
Fratres Arvales t ii. 239 
Fravashis, the souls of the dead in the 

Iranian religion, ii. 67 . a , 68 
French peasants regulate their sowing 

and planting by the moon, ii. 133 n.*, 

Frey, the Scandinavian god of fertility, 

ii. 100 sq. 
Frigento, Valley of Amsanctus near, i. 

Frodsham, Dr., on belief in conception 

without sexual intercourse, i. 103 n. 8 
Fruit-trees, worshippers of Osiris for- 

bidden to injure, ii. in 
Fulgora, a Roman goddess, ii. 231 
Funeral custom in Madagascar, ii. 247 
-- pyre of Roman emperor, i. 126 sq. 
-- rites of the Egyptians a copy of 

those performed over Osiris, ii. 15 ; of 

Osiris, described in the inscription of 

Denderah, 86 sqq. 
Furies, their snakes, I 88 n. 1 
Furness, W. H., on the prostitution of 

unmarried girls in Yap, ii. 266 

Gaboon, Mpongwe kings of the, ii. 104 ; 

negroes of the, regulate their planting 

by the moon, ii. 134 
Gad, Semitic god of fortune, L 164, 165 
Gadabursi, a Somali tribe, ii. 246 
Gades (Cadiz), worship of Hercules 

{Melcarth), at, i. 112 sq. \ temple of 

Melcarth at, ii. 258 .* 
Galelareese of Halmahera, as to human 

sacrifices to volcanoes, i. 220 
Gallas, their worship of serpents, L 86 a. 1 
Galli, the emasculated priests of Attis, i. 

266, 283 
Galton, Sir Francis, on the vale of the 

Adonis, i 29 
Game with fruit-stones played by kings 

of Uganda, ii. 224 
- law of the Njamus, ii. 39 
Garden of Osiris, ii 87 sq. 
Gardens of Adonis, i. 236 sqq t ; charms 

to promote the growth of vegetation, 

236 J?., 239; in India, 239 sqq. ; 

in Bavaria, 244; in Sardinia, 244 

sq. ; in Sicily, 245 ; at Easter, 253 sq. 
Gardens of God. i 123, 159 
Gardner, Professor E. A. on date of the 

corn-reaping in Greece, i. 332 . 
Garstang, Professor J., on sculptures at 

Ibreez, i 122 .*, 123 .* ; on Hittitc 

sculptures at Boghaz-Keui, 133 ., 

135 ; on Arenna, 136 i*. 1 ; on 

Syrian god Hadad, 163 .* 
Gathas, a part of the Zend-Avesta, ii 84 n. 
Gaul, worship of Cybele in, i. 279 
Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain, conduct 

of the natives in an earthquake, i 201 ; 

the Melanesians of the, ii 242 sq. 
Gazelles sacrificed at Egyptian funerals, 

ii 15 

Gebal, Semitic name of Byblus, i 13 .* 
Geese sacrificed at Egyptian funerals, ii. 

Gellius, Aulus, his list of old Roman 

deities, ii. 232 
Gellius, Cnaeus, on Mars and Nerio, ii 

Geminus, Greek astronomer, on the 

vague Egyptian year, ii. 26 
Genital organs of Osiris, tradition as to 

the, ii. 10, 102 ; of dead man used to 

fertilize the fields, 103 sq. 
Genius, Roman, symbolized by a serpent, 

i. 86 
Geographical and climatic conditions, 

their effect on national character, ii. 

German peasants regulate their sowing 

and planting by the moon, ii 135 
Germans, the ancient, their regard lor 

the phases of the moon, ii. 141 
Germany, harvest custom in, i 237; 

leaping over Midsummer fires in, 251 ; 

feast of All Souls in, ii. 70 sqq, ; 

popular superstition as to the influence 

of the moon in, 133, 140 sq. t 149 
Gezer, Canaanitish city, excavations at, 

i. 1 08 

Gezo, King, i 68 

Ghineh, monument of Adonis at, i 09 
Ghost of afterbirth thought to adhere to 

navel-string, ii 169 sq. 
Ghosts thought to impregnate women, L 

93 ; of the dead personated by living 

men) ii 52, 53, 58 
Giants, myths of, based on discovery of 

fossil bones, i 157 sq. 

and gods, their battle, i. 157 

Giaour-Kalesi, Hittite sculptures at, L 

138 it. 
Gilbert Islands, sacred stones in the, i 

I08*. 1 
Gill, Captain W., on a tribe in Chfart 

governed by a woman, ii 211 ,* 
Gilyaks of the Amoor eat nutlets of stone- 
pine, i. 278 .* 



Ginzel, Professor F. K., on the rise of 

the Nile, ii. 31 it. 1 
Giraffes, souls of dead kings incarnate in, 

ii. 162 
Glaucus, son of Minos, restored to life, 

i. 186 . 4 

Goat sacrificed by being hanged, i. 292 
God, children of, i. 68 ; sons of, 78 sqq. ; 
the physical fatherhood of, 80 sq. ; 
gardens of, 123, 159 

, the burning of a, i. 188 sq. ; the 

hanged, 288 sqq. 

of earthquakes, i. 194 sqq. 

Godavari District, Southern India, i. 

Goddess, identified with priestess, i. 

219 ; superiority of the, in the myths 

of Adonis, Attis, Osiris, ii. 201 sq. 

Goddesses, Cilician, i. 161 sqq. ; place 

infant sons of kings on fire to render 

them immortal, 180 ; of fertility served 

by eunuch priests, 269 sq. ; their 

superiority over gods in societies 

organized on mother-kin, ii. 202 sqq. ; 

the development of, favoured by 

mother-kin, 259 

Gods, annual death and resurrection of, 
i. 6 ; personated by priests, 45, 46 
sqq. ; married to sisters, 316 ; their 
human wives, ii. 207 ; made by men 
and worshipped by women, 211 
and giants, the battle of, i. 157 
Gold Coast of West Africa, the Tshi- 

speaking peoples of the, i. 69 
Golden Flower, the Feast of the, i 185 

Sea, the, i. 150 

Golgi in Cyprus, i. 35 

Goliath and David, L 19 . a 

Gonds, ceremony of bringing back souls 

of the dead among the, i. 95 sq, 
Good Friday, effigies and sepulchres of 

Christ on, i. 254 sqq. 
p Goddess (Bona Dea) t her relation- 
ship to Faunas, ii. 234 
Goowoong Awoo, volcano, children 

sacrificed to, i. 2x9 
Gordias and Midas, names of Phrygian 

kings, i 286 

Gordon, , M. , on infant burial, i. 94 
;?.; on the festival of the dead in 
Bilaspore, ii. 60 
Gouri, an Indian goddess of fertility, i. 

Gournia in Crete, prehistoric shrine at, i. 

88 w. 1 
Grandmother, title of an African priest, 

Earth thought to cause earthquakes, 

i 198 
Grandparents, dead, worshipped, it 

Grapes as divine emblem, u 

Grave of Osiris, ii. 10 sq. ; human 
victims sacrificed at the, 97 

shrines of Shilluk kings, ii. 161 $q.\ 

of dead kings, 194 sq. 

Graves, milk offered at, i. 87 ; childless 
women resort to, in order to ensure 
offspring, 96 ; illuminated on All 
Souls' Day, ii. 72 sq. t 74; the only 
places of sacrifice in the country of the 
Wahehe, 190 

of kings, chiefs, and magicians 

kept secret, ii. 103 sqq. ; human sacri- 
fices at, 1 68 

"Great burnings " for kings of Judah, L 
177 sq. 

Marriage, annual festival of the 

dead among the Oraons of Bengal, it 


men, history not to be explained 

without the influence of, i. 311 . a ; 
great religious systems founded by, ii. 
159 sq.\ their influence on the popular 
imagination, 199 

Mother, popularity of her worship 

in the Roman empire, L 298 sq. 
religious systems founded by in- 
dividual great men, ii. 159 sq. ; religious 
ideals a product of the male imagina- 
tion, 211 

Greece, date of the corn-reaping in, i. 
232 n.\ modern, marriage customs in, 
ii. 245 sq. 

Greek belief in serpents as reincarnations 
of the dead, i. 86 sq. 

Church, ceremonies on Good Friday 

in the, i. 254 
feast of All Souls in May, it 

78 n, 1 

gods, discrimination of their char- 
acters, i. 119 

mythology, Adonis in, i. 10 sqq. 

notion as to birth from trees and 

rocks, i. 107 tt. 1 ; of the noxious 
influence of moonshine on children, ii. 

purification for homicide, i. 299 ,* 

use of music in religion, i. 54 sq. 

writers on the worship of Adonis, 

i. 223 sq. 

Gregory IV. and the feast of All Saints, 

* f 

1L 83 

Grenfell, B. P., and A. S. Hunt on corn- 
stuffed effigies of Osiris, ii. 90 sq. 

Grimm, Jacob, on hide-measured lands, 
& 250 

Grotto of the Sibyl, at Marsala, i. 247 

Growth and decay of all things associated 
with the waxing and waning of the 
moon, ii. 132 sqq. t -L^Q sqq. 

Guarayos Indians of Bolivia, their pre- 
sentation of children to the moon, ii 




Guardian spirits in the form of animals, 

i. 83 ; in serpents, 83, 86 
Guaycurus of Brazil, men dressed as 

women among the, ii. 254 n.* 
Guevo Upas, the Valley of Poison, in 

Java, i. 203 sq. 

Gujrat District, Punjaub, i. 94 
Gurdon, Major P. R. T., on the Khasis 

of Assam, ii. 202, 203 . 1 , 210 n. 1 
Gwanya, a worshipful dead chief, ii. 


Gyges, king of Lydia, dedicates double- 
headed axe to Zeus, i. 182 

Gynaecocracy a dream, ii. 211 

Hadad, chief male deity of the Syrians, 

i. 15, i6. 1 ; Syrian god of thunder 

and fertility, 163 
Hadadrimmon, i. 164 . 1 ; the mourning 

of or for, 15 . 4 

Haddon, A. C., on worship of animal- 
shaped heroes, i. 139 *.* 
Hadrian, human sacrifice suppressed in 

reign of, i. 146 
Hair, sacrifice of women's, L 38 ; offered 

to goddess of volcano, 218 ; of head 

shaved in mourning for dead gods, 

225 ; to be cut when the moon is 

waxing, ii. 133 sq. 
Halasarna in Cos, rites of Apollo and 

Hercules at r ii. 250 
Halfdan, the Black, King of Norway, 

dismembered after death, ii. 100 
Halicarnassus, worship of Pergaean 

Artemis at, i. 35 .* 
Hall of the Two Truths, the judgment 

hall in the other world, ii. 13 
Halmahera, the Galelareese of, i. 220 
Hamaspathmaedaya, old Iranian festival 

of the dead, ii. 67 
Hamilcar, his self-sacrifice at the battle 

of Himera, L 115 sq.\ worshipped at 

Carthage, 116 ; burns himself, 176 ; 

worshipped after death, 180 
Hamilton, Alexander, on dance of 

hermaphrodites in Pegu, i. 271 n. 
Hamilton, Professor G. L., i. 57 n. 1 
Hammurabi, the code of, i. 71 *. 8 , 

72 n. 1 

Handel, the harmonies of, i. 54 
Hanged god, the, I 288 sqq. 
Hanging as a mode of sacrifice, L 289 


Hannah, the prayer of, i. 79 
Hannibal, his prayers to Meicarth, 

i 113 ; his retirement from Italy, 

Hanway, J., on worship of perpetual 

fires at Baku, i. 192 
Harmonia, the necklace of, L 32 *.* ; 

turned into a snake, 86 sq. 
Harold the Fair-haired, ii. 100 ,* 

Harp, the music of the, in religion, i 

52 sqq. 
Harpalyce, her incest with her father, 

i. 44 n. 1 
Harpocrates, the younger Horus, ii. 8, 

9 n. 
Harran, mourning of women for Tarn- 

muz in, i. 230 
Harrison, Miss J. ., on the hyacinth 

(Delphinium Ajacis} t i. 314 n, [ 
Hartland, . S. , on the reincarnation of 

the dead, i. 91 . s ; on primitive 

paternity, 106 n, 1 
Harvest, rites of, ii. 45 sqq. ; annual 

festival of the dead after, 61 ; new 

corn offered to dead kings or chiefs at, 

162, 1 66, 188 ; prayers to the spirits 

of ancestors at, 175 sq.\ sacrifices to 

dead chiefs at, 191 

- in Egypt, the date of, ii. 32 

- custom of throwing water on the 
last corn cut as a rain-charm, i. 237 sq. ; 
of the Arabs of Moab, ii. 48, 96 

Hathor, Egyptian goddess, ii. 9 n. 
Hattusil, king of the Hittites, i. 135 
Havamal, how Odin learned the magic 

runes in the, i. 290 
Hawaii, the volcano of Kirauea in, I 

2t6 sqq. 
Hawes, Mrs. , on date of the corn-reaping 

in Crete, i. 232 n. 
Hawk, Isis in the form of a, ii, 8 ; the 

sacred bird of the earliest Egyptian 

dynasties, 21 sq. ; epithet regularly 

applied to the king of Egypt, 22 
-- town (Hieraconpoiis) in Egypt, iL 

21 sq. 
Hawks carved on the bier of Osiris, iL 


Hazael, king of Damascus, i. 15 
4 'Head -Feast" among the Dyaks of 

Borneo, i. 295 sq. 

-- hunting in Borneo, i. 294 W 
Heads ot dead chiefs cut off and buried 

secretly, ii. 104 

- , human, thought to promote tic 
fertility of the ground and of women, 
i. 294 sqq. ; used as guardians by 
Taurians and tribes of Borneo, 994 

Heathen festivals displaced by Cforistiaii* 

i. 308 
- origin of Midsummer festival (festival 

of St. John), i. 249 s$. 
Heavenly Virgin or Goddess, mother of 

the Sun, i. 303 
Hebrew kings, traces of their dW^ty, 

I 20 sqq. 
names ending in -*/ or -wA, i* 

79 ** 
_ prophecy, the distinctive dbaraofttr 

of, L 75 



Hebrew prophets, their resemblance to 

those of Africa, i. 74 sy. 
Hebrides, peats cut in the wane of the 

moon in the, ii. 137 sq. 
Hecaerge, an epithet of Artemis, i. 292 
Hecate at Ephesus, i. 291 ; sometimes 
identified with Artemis, 292 . 

and Zeus worshipped at Stratonicea, 

ii. 227 

Hecatombeus, a Greek month, i. 314 
Hehn, V. , on derivation of name Cory- 

cian, i. 187 n. 9 
Helen of the Tree, worshipped in Rhodes, 

i. 292 

Heliacal rising of Sirius, ii. 152 
Helice, in Achaia, destroyed by earth- 
quake, i. 203 ; Poseidon worshipped 
at, 203 , a 
Heliodorus, on the priesthood of Apollo 

and Artemis at Ephesus, ii. 243 sq. 
Heliogabalus, sun-god at Emesa, i. 35 ; 
his sacrifice of children of living parents, 
ii. 248 
Heliopolis (Baalbec), in Syria, i. 163 . a ; 

sacred prostitution at, 37, 58 
Heliopolis (the Egyptian), trial of the 
dead Osiris before the gods at, ii. 


Hepding, H. , on Attis. i. 263 n. 1 ; on 

Catullus' s poem Attis, 270 . a ; on 
the bath of Cybele's image, 280 
Hephaestus and hot springs, i. 209 
Heqet, Egyptian frog-goddess, ii. 9 n. 
Hera's marriage with Zeus, i. 280 
Heraclids, Lydian dynasty of the, i. 182, 

184; perhaps Hittite, 185 
Hercules identified with Melcarth, i. 16, 
in ; slain by Typhon and revived by 
lolaus, in ; burnt on Mount Oeta, 
xxi, 1x6, 21 1 ; worshipped at Gades, 
1X2 sq. \ women excluded from sacri- 
fices to, 1x3 iz. 1 ; identified with 
Sandan, 125, 143, x6i ; burns himself, 
176; worshipped after death, 180; 
the itch of, 209 ; his dispute with 
Aesculapius. 209;?. ; the patron of hot 
springs, 209 sqq. ; altar of, at Thermo- 
pylae, 210 ; the effeminate, ii. 257, 
258, 259 ; priest of, dressed as a 
woman, 258; vernal mysteries of, at 
Rome, 258 ; sacrifices to, at Rome, 
258 . 5 

and the lion, L 184 

and Omphale, u 182, ii. 258 

and Sardanapalus, i. 172 sqq. 

, the Lydian, identical with the Cili- 

cian Hercules, i. 182, 184, 185 

with the lion's scalp, Greek type of, 

i. 1x7 sq. 

Hereditary deities, i. 51 
Herefordshire, soul-cakes in, ii. 79 
Hereto, a Bantu tribe of German South- 

West Africa, the worship of the dead 
among the, ii. 185 sqq. 

Hermaphrodite son of Sky and Earth, 
i. 282 n. 

Hermaphrodites, dance of, i. 271 . 

Hermes and Aegipan, i. 157 

Hermesianax, on the death of Attis, i. 
264 rc. 4 

Hermus, river, i. 185, 186 

Herod resorts to the springs of Callirrhoe, 
i. 2x4 

Herodes Atticus, his benefaction at Ther- 
mopylae, i. 210 

Herodotus on sanctuary of Aphrodite at 
Paphos, i. 34; on religious prostitution, 
58 ; on wife of Bel, 71 ; on Cyrus and 
Croesus, 174 ; on the sacrifices of 
Croesus to Apollo, 180 n. 1 ; on so- 
called monument of Sesostris, 185 ; on 
the festival of Osiris at Sais, ii. 50; 
on the mourning for Osiris, 86 ; identi- 
fies Osiris with Dionysus, 113 . a ; on 
the similarity between the rites of Osiris 
and Dionysus, 127 ; on human sacri- 
fices offered by the wife of Xerxes, 221 

Heroes worshipped in form of animals, 

i. 139 rt- 1 
Hertz, W., on religious prostitution, i. 

57 7*. 1 , 59 n. 4 

Hesse, custom at ploughing in, i. 239 
Hest, the Egyptian name for Isis, it 

50 . 4 , 115 n. 1 
Hettingen in Baden, custom at sowing 

at, i. 239 
Hezekiah, King, his reformation, i. 25, 

107 ; date of his reign, 25 . 4 
Hibeh papyri, ii. 35 n. l t 51 n. 1 
Hide-measured lands, legends as to, ii. 

249 sq. 

Hieraconpolis in Egypt, ii. 22 . 1 ; re- 
presentations of the Sed festival at, 

Hierapolis, the Syrian, festival of the 
Pyre or Torch at, i. 146 ; sacred doves 
at, 147 ; great sanctuary of Astarte at, 
269 ; eunuch priests of Astarte at, 269 

, in the valley of the Maeander, cave 

of Pluto at, i. 206 ; hot springs at, 206 

, distinction between, 

i. 168 . 2 
Bambyce, Atargatis the goddess of, 

i. 137, 162 ; mysterious golden image 

at, 162 *.* ; rules as to the pollution 

of death at, ii. 227 
Hieroglyphics, Hittite, i. 124, 125 n. 
High-priest of Syrian goddess, L 143 

. 4 

Priestess, head of the State, ii. 203 

Highlanders, Scottish, on the influence 

of the moon, ii. 132. 134, 140 



fftlaria, Festival of Joy in the rites of 
Attis, i. 373 

Hill, G. F., on image of Artemis at 
Perga, i. 35 .* ; on legend of coins 
of Tarsus, 126 . 3 ; on goddess 'Atheh, 
i6a n. 1 ; on coins of Mallus, 165 .' 

Hill Tout, C. , on respect shown by the 
Indians of British Columbia for the 
animals and plants which they eat, ii. 

Himalayan districts of North -Western 

India, gardens of Adonis in the, i. 

Himera, the battle of, i. 115 ; hot springs 

of, 213 .* 
Hindoo burial of infants, i. 94 ; marriage 

custom, old, ii. 246 ; worship of per- 
petual fire, i. 192 
Hindoos of Northern India, their mode 

of drinking moonshine, ii. 144 
Hinnom, the Valley of, i. 178 ; sacrifice 

of first-born children in, ii. 219 
Hippodamia, her incest with her father, 

i. 44 n. 1 
Hirpini, valley of Amsanctus in the land 

of the, i. 204 

Hissar District, Punjaub, i. 94 
History not to be explained without the 

influence of great men, i. 311 . 2 
Hittite, correct form of the national name 

Chatti or Haiti, i. 133 n. 

costume, i. 129 sq., 131 

deity named Tark or Tarku, i. 147 

god of thunder, i. 134, 163 

gods at Tarsus and Sardes, 185 

hieroglyphics, i. 124, 125 . 

inscription on Mount Argaeus, I 

190 . l 
priest or king, his costume, i. 131 

sculptures at Carchemish, i. 38 n, , 

123 ; at Ibreez, 121 sqq. ; at Bor 
(Tyana), 122 n. 1 ; at Euyuk, 123 ; 
at Boghaz-Keui, 128 sqq. ; at Baby- 
lon, 134 ; at Zenjirli, 134 ; at Giaour- 
Kalesi, 138 . ; at Kara-Bel, 138 . ; 
at Marash, 173 ; in Lydia, 185 

seals of treaty, i. 136, 142 .*, 145 


Sun-goddess, i. 133 n. 

treaty with Egypt, i. 135 sq. 

Hittites worship the bull, i. 123, 132 ; 
their empire, language, etc. , 124 sq. ; 
traces of mother-kin among the, 141 

Hkamies of North Aracan, their annual 
festival of the dead, ii. 61 

Ho tribe of Togoland, their kings buried 
secretly, iL 104 

Hofmayr, W., on the worship of Nya- 
kang among the Shilluks, ii. 164, 

Hogarth, D. G. ( on relics of paganism 
at Paphos, i. 36; on the Corycian 
cave, 155 n. ; on Roman remains at 
Tarsus, 172 n. 1 

Hogs sacrificed to goddess of volcano, 
i. 218 sq, 

Hollis, A. C. , on serpent-worship of the 
Akikuyu, i. 67 sq. \ on serpent-worship, 

" Holy men" in Syria, i. 77 sq. 
Hommel, Professor F., on the Hittite 

deity Tarku, i. 147 . 8 
Honey and milk offered to snakes, i. 85 
Honey-cakes offered to serpent, i. 87 
Hope of immortality, the Egyptian, 

centred in Osiris, ii. 15 sq., 90 sq, t 

"4, 159 

Hopladamus, a giant, i. 157 .* 
Hora and Quirinus, it, 233 
Horkos, the Greek god of oaths, ii. 231 

Horned cap worn by priest or god, i. 

123 ; of Hittite god, 1 34 

- god, Hittite and Greek, i. 123 

- lion, i. 127 

Horns, as a religious emblem, i. 34 ; 
worn by gods, 163 sq. 

- of a cow worn by Isis, ii. 50 
Horses sacrificed for the use of the dead, 

i. 293 sq, ; Lycurgus, king of the 
Edonians, torn in pieces by, ii. 98 
Horus, the four sons of, in the likeness 
of hawks, ii. 22 ; decapitates his mother 
Isis, 88 ; the eye of, 121 with n.* 

- of Edfu identified with the sun, ii. 


- the elder, ii. 6 

- the younger, son of Isis and the 
dead Osiris, ii. 8, 15 ; accused by Set 
of being a bastard, 17 ; his combat 
with Set, 17 ; his eye destroyed by Set 
and restored by Thoth, 17 ; reigns 
over the Delta, 17 

Hose, Ch., and McDougall, W. t OB 

head-hunting in Borneo, i. 295 n. 1 
Hosea on religious prostitution, i. 58; 

on the Baalim, 75 n. ; on the prophet 

as a madman, 77 
Hot springs, worship of, i. 206 sqg* ; 

Hercules the patron of, 209 sqq. ; re- 

sorted to by childless women in Syria. 

213 sqq. 
Huligamma, Indian goddess, eunuchs 

dedicated to her, i. 271 n, 
Human representatives of Attis, i 


- sacrifice, substitutes for, i. 146 sq 
285, 289, ii. 99, 221 

_ sacrifices in worship of the moon, 
i 73 ; to the Tauric Artemis, 115 ; o 
Diomecte at Salaniis, 145 ; offered at 
earthquakes, 201 ; oflfered at 

. t 



channels, ii. 38; of the kings of 
Ashantce and Dahomey, 97 . 7 ; 
offered to Dionysus, 98 sq. ; offered 
by the Mexicans for the maize, 107 ; 
at the graves of the kings of Uganda, 
168 ; to dead kings, 173 ; to dead 
chiefs, 191 ; to prolong the life of 
kings, 320 sq. , 233 sqq. 
Human victims thrown into volcanoes, 
i. 219 sq. ; uses made of their skins, 
293; as representatives of the corn- 
spirit, ii. 97, 106 sq. ; killed with 
hoes, spades, and rakes, 99 . a 
Hunger the root of the worship of 

Adonis, i, 231 

Hurons, their burial of infants, L 91 
Huzuls of the Carpathians, their theory 
of the waning moon, ii. 130; their 
core for water-brash, 149 sq. 
Hyacinth, son of Amyclas, killed by 
Apollo, i. 313 ; his flower, 313 sq. \ 
his tomb and festival, 314 sq. ; an 
aboriginal deity, 315 sq. ; his sister 
Polyboea, 316 ; perhaps a deified 
king of Amyclae, i. 316 sq. 
Hyacinthia, the festival of Hyacinth, i. 

3^4 ^. 

Hyacinthius, a Greek month, i. 315 n. 

Hybristica, an Argive festival, ii. 259 

Hygieia, the goddess, i 88 a. 1 

Hymns to Tammuz, i. 9 ; to the sun- 
god, ii. 123 sq. 

Hyria in Cilicia, i. 41 

Ibani of the Niger delta, their sacrifices 
to prolong the lives of kings and 
Others, ii. 222 
loans or Sea Dyaks, their worship of 

Serpents, i. 83. See Sea Dyaks 
Ibn Batuta, Arab traveller, on funeral 

of emperor of China, i. 293 sq. 
Ibreez in Southern Cappadocia, i. 119 
sqq, ; village of* 120 sq. \ Hittite 
sculptures at, 121 sqq. 
, the god of, i. 119 sqq. - his horned 

cap, 164 

Idalium in Cyprus, i 50 ; bilingual in- 
scription of, 49 . 7 ; Melcarth wor- 
shipped at. 117 

Ideals of humanity, two different, the 
heroic and the saintly, i 300 ; great 
religious, a product of the male 
imagination, ii. 2x1 

Ideler, L., on the date of the introduc- 
tion of the fixed Alexandrian year, ii. 
28 n l ; on the Sothic period, 37 . 
Ignorance of paternity, primitive, i. 106 


H Mayck clan of the Njamus, their 
supposed power over irrigation water 
and the crops, ii. 39 

Ilium, animals sacrificed by hanging at, 

i. 292 

Illumination, nocturnal, at festival oi 

Osiris, ii. 50 sq. ; of graves on All 

Souls' Day, 72 sq. , 74 

Ilpirra of Central Australia, their belief 

in the reincarnation of the dead, i. 99 

Images of Osiris made of vegetable 

mould, ii. 85, 87, 90 sq., 91 
Immortality, Egyptian hope of, centred 

in Osiris, ii. 15 sq. % 90 sq. t 1x4, 159 
Impregnation of women by serpents, i. 
80 sqq. ; by the dead, 91 ; by ghosts, 
93 ; by the flower of the banana, 93 ; 
supposed, through eating food, 96, 
102, 103, 104, 105 ; by fire, ii. 235. 
See also Conception 

of Isis by the dead Osiris, ii. 8, 20 

without sexual intercourse, belief 

in, i. 96 sqq. 

Incense burnt at the rites of Adonis, 

i. 228 ; burnt in honour of the Queen 

of Heaven, 228 ; collected by a flail, 

ii. 109 n. 1 

Incest with a daughter in royal families, 

reported cases of, i. 43 sq. 
Inconsistency of common thought, i. 4 
Increase of the moon the time for in- 
creasing money, ii. 148 sq. 
India, sacred women (dancing-girls) in* 
i. 6 1 sqq. ; impregnation of women by 
stone serpents in, 81 sq. ; burial of 
infants in, 93 sq. ; gardens of Adonis 
in, 239 sqq. ; eunuchs dedicated to a 
goddess in, 271 n. ; drinking moon- 
light as a medicine in, ii. 142 
Indian ceremonies analogous to the rites 

of Adonis, i. 227 

prophet, his objections to agricul- 
ture, L 88 sq. 

Indians of tropical America represent the 
rain-god weeping, ii. 33 . s ; of Cali- 
fornia, their annual festivals of the 
dead, 52 sq. ; of Brazil attend to the 
moon more than to the sun, 138 .; 
of San Juan Capistrano, their cere- 
mony at the new moon, 142 ; of the 
Ucayali River in Peru, their greeting 
to the new moon, 142 ; of North 
America, effeminate sorcerers among 
the, 254, 255 sq. 
Infant sons of kings placed by goddesses 

on fire, i. 180 

Infants buried so as to ensure their 
rebirth, i. 91, 93 sqq. ; burial of, at 
Gezer, 108 sq. 

Influence of great men on the popular 
imagination, ii. 199; of mother-kin 
on religion, 202 sqq. 
Ingarda tribe of West Australia, theii 
belief as to the birth of children, L 


Ingleborough in Yorkshire, i. 152 
Inheritance of property under mother- 
kin, rules of, ii. 203 n. 1 
Injibandi tribe of West Australia, their 
belief as to the birth of children, i. 

Insect, soul of dead in, i. 95 sg. % ii. 162 
Insensibility to pain as a sign of inspira- 
tion, i. 169 sg. 
Inspiration, insensibility to pain as sign 

of, i. 169 sq. \ savage theory of, i. 

, prophetic, under the influence of 

music, i. 52 sg. t 54 sq. t 74 ; through 

the spirits of dead Icings and chiefs, ii. 

171, 172, 192 sq. 
Inspired men and women in the Pelew 

Islands, ii. 207 sg. 
Intercalation introduced to correct the 

vague Egyptian year, ii. 26, 27, 28 ; 

in the ancient Mexican calendar, ii. 

Inuus, epithet applied to Faumis, ii. 

234 . 
Invisible, charm to make an army, ii. 

lolaus, friend of Hercules, i. in 

Iranian year, the old, ii. 67 

Iranians, the old, their annual festival of 
the dead (Fravashis), ii. 67 sg. 

Ireland, sacred oaks in, i. 37 n. s 

trie, J. , on the religion of the Herero, ii. 
186 sg. 

Iron not allowed to touch Atys, i. 286 

Irrigation in ancient Egypt, it 31 sq. ; 
rites of, in Egypt, 33 sqq. ; sacrifices 
offered in connexion with, 38 sq, 

Isa or Parvati, an Indian goddess, i. 241 

Isaac, Abraham's attempted sacrifice of, 
ii. 219 n. 1 

Isaiah, on the king's pyre in Tophet, i 
177, 178 ; possible allusion to gardens 
of Adonis in, 236 .* ; on dew, 247 
*. 1 

Ishtar, great Babylonian goddess, i. 8, 
20 . 2 ; in relation to Tammuz, 8 

(Astarte) and Mylitta, L 36, 37 tt. 1 

Isis, sister and wife of Osiris, ii. 6 sq. ; 
date of the festival of, 26 . 8 33; 
as a cow or a woman with the head of 
a cow, i. 50, ii. 50, 85, 88 n. l t 91 ; 
invoked by Egyptian reapers, i. 232, 
ii. 45, 117 ; in the form of a hawk, 8, 
ao ; in the papyrus swamps, 8 ; in the 
form of a swallow, 9 ; at Byblus, 9 
sq. \ at the well, 9, in w, ff ; her 
search for the body of Osiris, 10, 50, 
85 ; recovers and buries the body of 
Osiris, 10 sq.\ mourns Osiris, 12 ; 
restores Osiris to life, 13; her tears 


supposed to swell the Nile, 33 ; her 
priest wears a jackal's mask, 85 *.* ; 
decapitated by her son Horus, 88 n. 1 ; 
her temple at Philae, 89, in; her 
many names, 115 ; sister and wife of 
Osiris, 116; a corn-goddess, 1x6,17.; 
her discovery of wheat and barley, 
116 ; identified with Ceres, 117 ; 
identified with Demeter, 117; as the 
ideal wife and mother, 117 sq. ; refine- 
ment and spiritualization of, 117 sg. ; 
popularity of her worship in the Roman 
empire, 118; her resemblance to the 
Virgin Mary, 1x8 sg. ; Sinus her star, 
34^., 152 

Isis and the king's son at Byblus, i. 180 ; 
and the scorpions, ii. 8 

Iswara or Mahadeva, an Indian god, L 
241, 242 

Italian myths of kings or heroes begotten 
by the fire-god, ii. 235 

Italy, hot springs in, i 313 ; divination 
at Midsummer in, 254 

Itch of Hercules, i. 209 

Itongo, an ancestral spirit (Zulu term, 
singular of Amatongo), ii. 184 *.* 

Ivy, sacred to Attis, L 278; sacred to 
Osiris, ii. 1x2 

Jablonski, P. E., on Osiris as a sun-god, 

ii. 120 

Jackal-god Up-uat, ii, 154 
Jackal's mask worn by priest of Isis, n. 

85 n* 
Jamblichus on insensibility to pain as 

sign of inspiration, i. 169 ; on the 

purifying virtue of fire, 181 
January, the sixth of, reckoned in the 

East the Nativity of Christ, i. 304 
Janus in Roman mythology, ii. 235 *.* 

like deity on coins, i. 165 

Japan, annual festival of the dead in, u. 

Jars, children buried in, i. 109 . 

Jason and Medea, i. 181 n. 1 

Jastrow, Professor M. on the festival of 

Tarumuz, i. xo n. l \ on the character 

of Tammuz, 230 n. 
Java, conduct of natives in an earthquake, 

L 202 n. 1 ; the Valley of Poison k 

203 sq. ; worship of volcanoes in, 220 

Jawbone, the ghost of the dead thought 

to adhere to the, ii 267 sg, 
and navel-string of Kibuka, the 

war-god of the Baganda, ii. 197 
Jawbones, lower, of dead kings of 

Uganda preserved and worshipped, 

ii. 167 sg,, 169 s$** 171 W* $* 

ghosts of the kings supposed to attack 

to their jawbones, 169 




Jayi or Jawira, festival in Upper India, 

i. 242 

febel Hissar, Olba, i. 151 
Jehovah in relation to thunder, i. 22 n. 3 ; 

in relation to rain, 23 n. 1 
Jensen, P., on rock-hewn sculptures at 

Boghaz-Keui, . 137 . 
inscription, 145 


on Hittite 
on the Syrian 
god Hadad, 163 *.* 

Jeremiah, on the prophet as a madman, 
i. 77 ; on birth from stocks and stones, 

Jericho, death of Herod at, i. 214 
Jerome, on the date of the month 
Tammuz, i. 10 n. l ; on the worship 
of Adonis at Bethlehem, 257 
Jerusalem, mourning for Tammuz at, i. 
xi, 17, 20 ; the Canaanite kings of, 
17 ; the returned captives at, 23 ; the 
Destroying Angel over, 24 ; besieged 
by Sennacherib, 25 ; the religious 
orchestra at, 52; "great burnings" 
for the kings at, 177 sq. ; the king's 
pyre at, 177 sq. ; Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre at, Good Friday ceremonies 
in the, 255 . ; the sacrifice of first- 
born children at, ii. 219 
Jewish priests, their rule as to the pollu- 
tion of death, ii. 230 
Jews of Egypt, costume of bride and 

bridegroom among the, ii. 260 
Joannes Lydus, on Phrygian rites at 

Rome, i. 266 *.* 
John Barleycorn, i. 230 sq. 
Johns, Dr. C. H. W., on Babylonian 

votaries, i. 71 .* and * 
Johnston, Sir H. H., on eunuch priests 

on the Congo, i. 271 n. 
Josephus, on worship of kings of Damas- 
cus, i. 15 ; on the Tyropoeon, 178 
Josiah, reforms of king, i. 17 .',i8 .*, 

25, 107 
Jualamukhi in the Himalayas, perpetual 

fires, L 192 

Judah, laments for dead kings of, L 20 
Judean maid impregnated by serpent, i. 81 
Julian, the emperor, his entrance into 
Antioch, i. 227, 258 ; on the Mother 
of the Gods, 299 . 8 ; restores the 
standard cubit to the Serapeum, ii. 
217 n. 1 
Julian calendar introduced by Caesar, 

& 37. 93 - x 
year, ii. 28 

Juno, the Flaminica Dialis sacred to, ii. 

230 . ft ; the wife of Jupiter, 231 
Jimod, Henri A., on the worship of the 

dead among the Thonga, ii. 180 sq. 
Juok, the supreme god and creator of 

the Shilhiks, ii. 165 
Jupiter, the husband of Juno, ii. 231 ; 

the father of Fortuna. Primigenia, 234 

Jupiter and Juturna, ii. 235 .* 

Dolichenus, i. 136 

Justice and Injustice in Aristophanes, i. 

Justin Martyr on the resemblances ol 

paganism to Christianity, i. 302 n. 4 
Juturna in Roman mythology, ii. 235 . 

Kabyles, marriage custom of the, to 

ensure the birth of a boy, ii. 262 
Kadesh, a Semitic goddess, i. 137 . 2 
Kai of German New Guinea, their belief 
in conception without sexual inter- 
course, i. 96 sq. 
Kaikolans, a Tamil caste, i. 62 
Kaitish of Central Australia, their belief 
in the reincarnation of the dead, i. 99 
Kalat el Hosn, in Syria, i. 78 
Kalids, kaliths, deities in the Pelew 

Islands, ii. 204 n.*, 207 
Kalunga, the supreme god of the 

Ovambo, ii. 188 
Kangra District, Punjaub, i. 94 
Kantavu, a Fijian island, i. 201 
Kanytelideis, in Cilicia, i. 158 
Kara-Bel, in Lydia, Hittite sculpture at, 

i. 138 n., 185 

Kariera tribe of West Australia, their 

beliefs as to the birth of children, i. 105 

Karma-tree, ceremony of the Mundas 

over a, i. 240 

Karo-Bataks, of Sumatra, their custom 
as to the first sheaf of rice at harvest, 
ii. 239 

Karok Indians of California, their 
lamentations at hewing sacred wood, 
ii. 47 sq. 
Karunga, the supreme god of the Herero, 

ii. 1 86, 187 n. 1 
Katikiro, Baganda term for prime 

minister, ii. 168 
Kayans, their reasons for taking human 

heads, i. 294 sq. 
Keadrol, a Toda clan, ii. 228 
Keb (Geb or Seb), Egyptian earth-god, 

father of Osiris, i. 6, 283 n. 9 
Kedeskim, sacred men, i. 38 n. , 59, 72, 
76, 107; at Jerusalem, 17 sq. ; in 
relation to prophets, 76 
Kedeskoth, sacred women, i. 59, 72, 


Kemosh, god of Moab, i. 15 
Kennett. Professor R. H., on David 
and Goliath, i. 19 n. 2 ; on Elisha irj 
the wilderness, 53 . 1 ; on kedeshim % 
73 . A ; on the sacrifice of first-born 
children at Jerusalem, ii. 219 
Kent's Hole, near Torquay, fossil bones 

in, i. 153 
Keysser, Ch., on belief in conception 

without sexual intercourse, i. 96 sf. 
Khalij, old canal at Cairo, ii. 38 



K hangars of the Central Provinces, India, 
bridegroom and his father dressed as 
women at a marriage among the, ii. 

Khasi tribes governed by kings, not 
queens, ii, 210 

Khasis of Assam, their system of mother- 
kin, i. 46, ii. 202 sq. ; goddesses pre- 
dominate over gods in their religion, 
203 sq. ; rules as to the succession to 
the kingship among the, 210 n. 1 

Khent, early king of Egypt, ii. 154 ; his 
reign, 19 sg. ; his tomb at Abydos, 
19 sqq. ; his tomb identified with that 
of Osiris, 20, 197 

Khenti-Amenti, title of Osiris, ii. 87, 
198 n* 

Khoiak, festival of Osiris in the month 
of, ii. 86 sqq., 108 sq. 

Khyrim State, in Assam, i. 46 ; governed 
by a High Priestess, ii. 203 

Kibuka, the war-god of the Baganda, a 
dead man, ii. 197 ; his personal relics 
preserved at Cambridge, 197 

Kidd, Dudley, on the worship of ancestral 
spirits among the Bantus of South 
Africa, ii. 177 sqq. 

King, J. ., on infant burial, i. 91 

King, a masker at Carnival called the, 
ii. 99 

of Tyre, his walk on stones of fire, 

i. 114 sq. ; of Uganda, his navel- 
string preserved and inspected every 
new moon, ii. 147 sq. 

Kings as priests, i. 42 ; as lovers of a 
goddess, 49 sq.; held responsible for 
the weather and the crops, 183 ; marry 
their sisters, 316 ; slaughter human 
victims with their own hands, ii. 97 
*. 7 ; torn in pieces, traditions of, 
97 sq.\ human sacrifices to prolong 
the life of, 220 sq., 223 sqq. 

and magicians dismembered and 
their bodies buried in different parts 
of the country to fertilize it, ii. 101 


, dead, reincarnate in lions, i. 83 
n. 1 ; worshipped in Africa, 160 sqq. ; 
sacrifices offered to, 162, 166 sq. \ 
incarnate in animals, 162, 163 sq., 
173 ; consulted as oracles, 167, 171, 
172, 195 ; human sacrifices to, 173 ; 
worshipped by the Barotse, 194 sq. 

, divinity of Semitic, i. 15 sqq. ; 
divinity of Lydian, 182 sqq. 
- of Egypt worshipped as gods, i. 
53 ; buried at Abydos, ii. 19 ; perhaps 
formerly slain in the character of 
Osiris, 97 sq., 102; as Osiris, 151 
sqq. ; renew their life by identifying 
themselves with the dead and risen 

Osiris, 153 sq. ; born again at the 

Sed festival, 153, 156 sq.; perhaps 

formerly put to death to prevent 

their bodily and mental decay, 154 

sq. t 156 
Kings, Hebrew, traces of divinityascribed 

to, i. 20 sqq. 
, Shilluk, put to death before their 

strength fails, ii. 163 
of Sweden answerable for the fer- 
tility of the ground, ii. 220 ; their 

sons sacrificed, 51 
Kingship at Rome a plebeian institution, 

i. 45 ; under mother-kin, rules as to 

succession to the, ii. 210 n. 1 ; in Africa 

under mother-kin inherited by men, 

not women, 211 
Kingsley, Miss Mary H., on secret 

burial of chiefs head, ii. 104 
Kinnor t a lyre, i. 52 
Kirauea, volcano in Hawaii, i. 216 $q.\ 

divinities of, 217 ; offerings to, 217 

Kiriwina, one of the Trobriand Islands, 

annual festival of the dead in, i. 56 ; 

snakes as reincarnations of the dead 

in, 84 ; presentation of children to the 

full moon in, ii. 144 
Kiwai, an island off New Guinea, magic 

for the growth of sago in, ii. 101 
Kiziba, a district of Central Africa, dead 

kings worshipped in, ii 173 sq, ; 

totemism in, 173 
Klamath Indians of Oregon, their theory 

of the waning moon, ii. 130 
Kocchs of North - Eastern India, suc- 
cession to husband's property among 

the, ii. 215 n. 9 
Kois of Southern India, infant burial 

among the, i. 95 
Koraatis of Mysore, their worship of 

serpents, L 81 sq 
Koniags of Alaska, their magical uses of 

the bodies of the dead, ii. 106 
Konkaus of California, their dance of 

the dead, ii. 53 
Kosio, a dedicated person, L 65, 66, 

Kosti, in Thrace, carnival custom at, 

99 *9- 
Kotas, a tribe of Southern India, their 

priests not allowed to be widowers, i. 

Kretschmer, Professor P., on native 

population of Cyprus, i 145 .* ; on 

Cybete and Attis, 287 *.* 
Krishna, Hindoo god, n. 354 
Kuar, an Indian month, ii. 244 
Kubary, J., on the system of mother-kin 

among w the Pekw Islanders, i. 004 

Kuinda, CIHcian fortress, L 144 *** 



ICuki-Lushai, men dressed as women to 

deceive dangerous ghosts or spirits 

among the, iL 263 
Kuklia, Old Paphos, i. 33, 36 
Kundi in Cilicia, i. 144 
Kupalo, figure of, passed across fire at 

Midsummer, i. 250 $q.\ a deity of 

vegetation, 253 
Kupole's festival at Midsummer in 

Prussia, i. 253 

Labraunda inCaria, i. 182 .* 
Labrys, Lydian word for axe, i. 182 
Laconia, subject to earthquakes, i. 203 


Lactantius, on the rites of Osiris, ii. 85 

Lagash in Babylonia, i. 35 n* 
Lago di Naftia in Sicily, i. 221 .* 
Lagrange, Father M. J., on the mourn- 
ing for Adonis as a harvest rite, i. 


Laguna, Pueblo village of New Mexico, 


. 54 

Lakhubai, an Indian goddess, i. 243 
Lakor, theory of earthquakes in, i. 198 
Lamas River in Cilicia, i. 149, 150 
Lamentations of Egyptian reapers, i. 232, 
iL 45 ; of the savage for the animals 
and plants which he eats, 43 sq. ; 
of Cherokee Indians "after the first 
working of the crop," 47; of the 
Karok Indians at cutting sacred wood, 

Laments for Tammuz, i. 9 sq. ; for dead 

kings of Judah, 20 ; for Osiris, ii. 12 
Lampblack used to avert the evil eye, ii. 

Lamps lighted to show the dead the way, 

ii. 51 sq. ; for the use of ghosts at the 

feast of All Souls, 72, 73 
Lancashire, All Souls' Day in, ii. 79 
Landen, the battle of, L 234 
Lane, E. W., on the rise of the Nile, ii. 

31 *. 1 

Lantana salvifolia, ii. 47 
Lanterns, the feast of, in Japan, ii. 65 
Lanzone, R. V., on the rites "of Osiris, 

ii. 87 . 
Larnax Lapethus in Cyprus, Melcarth 

worshipped at, L 117 
Larrekiya, Australian tribe, their belief in 

conception without cohabitation, i. 103 
Lateran Museum, statue of Attis in the, 

L 279 

R. G., on succession to 

.- ,, ^ , f. 

husband's property among the Kocchs, 
it 215 n, a 

Laurel, gold wreath of, worn by priest 
of Hercules, I 143 ; in Greek purifica- 
tory rites, it 240 sq. 

^ -bearing, a festival at Thebes, in 
ii. 241 

Leake, W. M., on flowers in Asia Minor, 

i. 187 . 6 
Leaping over Midsummer fires to make 

hemp or flax grow tall, i. 251 
Leaves, and flowers as talismans, ii. 242 


Lebanon, the forests of Mount, i. 14 
Aphrodite of the, 30 ; Baal of the, 32 ; 
the charm of the, 235 
Lech, a tributary of the Danube, ii. 70 
Lechrain, feast of All Souls in, ii. 70 sq. 
Lecky, W. E. H. , on the influence of 
great men on the popular imagination, 
ii. 199 
Legend of the foundation of Carthage 

and similar tales, ii. 249 sq. 
Lehmann-Haupt, C. F. , on the historical 

Semiramis, i. 177 n. 1 
Lent, the Indian and Fijian, i. 90 
Leo the Great, as to the celebration of 

Christmas, i. 305 

Leonard, Major A. G., on sacrifices to 
prolong the lives of kings and others, 
ii. 222 
Leprosy, lung of Israel expected to heal, 

i. 23 sq. 
Lepsius, R., his identification of Osiris 

with the sun, ii. 121 sq. 
Leti, theory of earthquakes in, I 198 
Letopolis, neck of Osiris at, ii. n 
Letts, their annual festival of the dead* 

ii. 74 sq. 
Lewis the Pious, institutes the feast of 

All Saints, ii. 83 

Leza, supreme being recognized by the 
Bantu tribes of Northern Rhodesia, ii. 

Licinius Imbrex, on Mars and Nerio, ii. 


Lightning thought by Caffres to be 
caused by the ghost of a powerful 
chief, ii. 177 with n. 1 ; no lamentations 
allowed for persons killed by, 177 n. 1 

tl Lights of the dead" to enable the 
ghosts to enter houses, ii. 65 

, three hundred and sixty-five, in the 

rites of Osiris, ii. 88 

Lion, deity standing on a, i. 123 .*, 
127; the emblem of the Mother 
Goddess, 164 ; as emblem of Hercules 
and the Heraclids, 182, 184 ; carried 
round acropolis of Sardes, 184, ii. 

god at Boghaz-Keui, the mystery 

of the, i. 139 sq. ; of Lydia, 184 

slaying god, statue of, i. 117 

Lions, dead kings reincarnate in, L 83 
**, ii. 163 ; carved, at gate, i. 128 ; 
as. emblems of the great Asiatic 
Mother-goddess, 137 ; deities seated 
on, 162; spirits of dead chiefs re- 
incarnated in, ii. 193 


Living parents, children of, in ritual, ii. 

236 sqq. 
Loeboes, a tribe of Sumatra, exchange 

of costume between boys and girls 

among tbe, ii. 264 
Loryma in Caria, Adonis worshipped at, 

i. 227 n. 
Lots, Greek custom as to the drawing of, 

ii. 248 
Lovers, term applied to the Baalim, i. 

75 - 
Low, Hugh, on Dyak treatment of heads 

of slain enemies, i. 295 
Lua and Saturn, ii. 233 
Luangwa, district of Northern Rhodesia, 

prayers to dead ancestors in, ii. 175 sq. 
Lucian, on religious prostitution, i. 58 ; 

on image of goddess at Hierapolis- 

Bambyce, 137 . 2 ; on the death of 

Peregrinus, 181 ; on dispute between 

Hercules and Aesculapius, 209 sq. ; 

on the ascension of Adonis, 225 n. 9 
Lugaba, the supreme god of the Bahima, 

ii, 190 
Lunar sympathy, the doctrine of, ii. 140 

Lung-fish clan among the Baganda, ii. 

Luritcha of Central Australia, their belief 

in the reincarnation of the dead, i. 99 
Lushais, men dressed as women, women 

dressed as men. among the, ii. 255 n. 1 
Luxor, temples at, ii. 124 
Lyall, Sir Charles J., on the system of 

mother-kin among the Khasis, ii. 202 


Lycaonian plain, i. 123 
Lycia, flowers in, i. 187 .*; Mount 

Chimaera in, 221 ; mother-kin in, ii. 

212 sq. 
Lycian language, question of its affinity, 

ii. 213 n. 1 
men dressed as women in mourning, 

ii. 264 
Lycurgus, king of the Edonians, rent in 

pieces by horses, ii. 98, 99 
Lycus, valley of the, i. 207 
Lydia, prostitution of girls before 

marriage in, i. 38, 58 ; the lion-god 

of, 184 ; the Burnt Land of, 193 sq. ; 

traces of mother-kin in, ii* 259 
Lydian kings, their divinity, i. 182 sqq. ; 

held responsible for the weather and 

the crops, 183 
Lyell, Sir Charles, on hot springs, i. 213 

n. 4 ; on volcanic phenomena in Syria 

and Palestine, 222 n. 1 
Lyre as instrument of religious music, i. 

52 sq., 54 sq, ; the instrument, of 

Apollo, 288 
Lysimachus scatters the bones of the 

kings of Epirus, ii 104 

Ma, goddess of Cornana in Pontus, i. 39, 

265 n. 1 
Macalister, Professor R. A* Stewart, on 

infant burial at Gezer, i. 109 n. 1 
Macdonald, Rev. James, on the worship 

of aLcestors among the Bantus, ii. 176 
Mace of Narmer, representation of the 

Sed festival on the, ii. 154 
McLennan, J. F., on brother and sistet 

marriages, i. 44 .*, ii. 216 n. 1 
Macrobius, on the mourning Aphrodite, 

i. 30 ; on the Egyptian year, ii. 28 .* ; 

on Osiris as a sun-god, 121 ; his solar 

theory of the gods, 121, 128 ; on the 

influence of the moon, 132 
Madagascar, vicarious sacrifice for a king 

in, ii. 22X ; men dressed as women in, 

Madonna and Isis, ii, 119 

Maeander, the valley of the, subject to 

earthquakes, i. 194; sanctuaries of 

Pluto in the valley of the, 205, 206 
Mafuie, the Samoan god of earthquakes, 

i. 200 

Magarsus in Cilicia, i. 169 *.' 
Magic and religion, combination of , L 4 
Magical ceremonies for the regulation of 

the seasons, i. 3 sqq. 

- dramas for the regulation of the 
seasons, i. 4 sq. 

- uses made of the bodies of the dead, 
ii. zoo sqq. 

Magnesia, on the Maeander, worship of 

Zeus at, ii. 238 
Mahadeo and Parvati, Indian deities, i. 

242, 251 

Mahadeva, Indian god, i. 24 1 
Mahdi, an ancient, t. 74 
Mahratta, dancing-girls in, i. 62 
Maia or Majestas, the wife of Vukan, ri. 

232 sq. 
Maiau, hero in form of crocodile, i. 

139 n. 1 
Maiden, the (Persephone), the descent 

of, n. 41 
Malagasy use of children of living parents 

in ritual, ii. 247 
Malay Peninsula, tbe Mentras or Mantras 

of the, ii. 140 
Mallus in Cilicia, deities on colas of, i 

165 sq. 
Malta, bilingual inscription of, L 16; 

Phoenician temples of, 35 
Mamre, sacred oak or terebintli at, i 


Mandingoes of Senegambia, thdr atten- 

tion to the pluses of the moon, ii 14% 
Maneros, chant of Egyptian reapers, & 

Manes, first king of LydJa, i 186*.* 
Manetho, on the Egyptfea bwrnl-**er!ioe 
of red-haired men, il 97; 



the discoverer of corn, 116 ; quoted by 

Diodorus Siculus, 120 
Manichaeans, their theory of earthquakes, 

L 197 
Manichaeus, the heretic, his death, i. 

294 n.* 
Manipur, the Tangkul Nagas of, ii. 57 

Mantinea, Poseidon worshipped at, i. 

203 . a 
Maori priest catches the soul of a tree, 

ii. ni n. 1 

Marash, Hittite monuments at, i. 173 
March, festival of Attis in, i. 267 
- , the twenty-fifth of, tradition that 

Christ was crucified on, i. 306 
Marduk, human wives of, at Babylon, i. 

Mariette- Pacha, A., on the burial of 
Osiris, ii. 89 n. 

Mangolds used to adorn tombstones on 
All Souls' Day, ii. 71 

Marks, bodily, of prophets, i. 74 

Marriage as an infringement of old 
communal rights, i. 40 ; of the Sun 
and Earth, 47 sq t ; of women to 
serpent-god, 66 sqq. ; of Adonis and 
Aphrodite celebrated at Alexandria, 
224 ; of Sky and Earth, 282 with . 2 ; 
of the Roman gods, ii. 230 sqq. ; 
exchange of dress between men and 
women at, 260 sqq. 

- - , sacred, of priest and priestess as 
representatives of deities, i. 46 sqq. ; 
represented in the rock-hewn sculptures 
at Bogbaz-Keui, 140 ; in Cos, ii. 259 
. 4 

customs of the Aryan family, ii. 
235 ; use of children of living parents 
in, 245 sqq. ; to ensure the birth of 
boys, 262 

Marriages of brothers with sisters in 

ancient Egypt, ii. 214 sqq. \ their in- 

tention to keep the property in the 

family, 215 sg. 
Mars, the lather of Romulus and Remus, 

ii. 235 

' and Bellona, ii. 231 
- and Nerio, ii. 232 
Marsala in Sicily, Midsummer customs 

at, i. 247 
Marseilles, Midsummer custom at, i. 248 

Marshall, Mr. A. S. F. , on the felling of 

timber in Mexico, ii. 136 . 8 
Marsyas, his musical contest with Apollo 

and his death, i. 288 sg. ; perhaps a 

double of Attis, 289 

and Apollo, i, 55 
, the river, L 289 

Martin, M., on the catting of peat in the 
Hebrides, ii 138 

Masai, of East Africa, their belief in 
serpents as reincarnations of the dead, 
i. 82, 84 ; their ceremonies at the new 
moon, ii. 142 sg. 

boys wear female costume at circum- 
cision, ii. 263 

rule as to the choice of a chief, ii. 


Masnes, a giant, i. 186 
Masoka, the spirits of the dead, ii. 188 

Maspero, Sir Gaston, edits the Pyramid 

Texts, ii. 4 n. 1 ; on the nature of 

Osiris, 126 .* 
Masquerade at the Carnival in Thrace, 

ii. 99 sg. 
Masquerades at festivals of the dead, ii. 

Massacres for sick kings of Uganda, ii. 

Massaya, volcano in Nicaragua, human 

victims sacrificed to, i. 219 
Massebah (plural masseboth], sacred stone 

or pillar, i. 107, 108 
Maternal uncle in marriage ceremonies 

in India, i. 62 n. 1 
Maternity and paternity of the Roman 

deities, ii. 233 sqq. 
11 Matriarchate," i. 46 
Maui, Fijian god of earthquakes, i. 202 . 
Maundrell, H., on the discoloration of 

the river Adonis, i. 225 . 4 
Maury, A., on the Easter ceremonies 

compared with those of Adonis, i. 

257 w- 1 
Maximus Tyrius, on conical image at 

Paphos, i. 35 n. 
May, modern Greek feast of All Souls in 

May, ii. 78 n. 1 
Day, ceremony at Meiron in Galilee 

on the eve of, i. 178 
pole or Midsummer-tree in Sweden 

and Bohemia, i. 250 
Medea and her magic cauldron, i. 180 

Medicine-men of Zulus, i. 74 ., of 

Wiimbaio, 75 .* 
Mefitis, Italian goddess of mephitic 

vapours, i. 204, 205 
Megalopolis, battle of gods and giants in 

plain of, i. 157 

Megassares, king of Hyria, i. 41 
Meiners, C, on purification by blood, 

i. 299 .* 
Meiron, in Galilee, burnings for dead 

Jewish Rabbis at, i. 178 sg. 
Mela's description of the Corycian cave, 

i. 155 ., 156 
Melanesia, belief in conception without 

sexual intercourse in, i. 97 sg. 
Melanesian magicians buried secretly, ii 



Melanesians, mother-kin among the, ii. 
3ii ; of New Britain, their use of 
flowers and leaves as talismans, 242 sq. 

Melcarth, the god of Tyre, identified 
with Hercules, i. 16, in ; worshipped 
at Amathus in Cyprus, 32, 117; the 
burning of, no sqq. \ worshipped at 
Gades, 112 J., ii. 258 . 6 

Melchizedek, king of Salem, i. 17 

Melech and Moloch, ii. 2x9 sq. 

Meles, king of Lydia, banished because 
of a dearth, i. 183 ; causes lion to be 
carried round acropolis, 184 

Melicertes, a form of Melcarth, i. 113 

Melite in Phthia, i. 291 

Melito on the father of Adonis, i. 13 . a 

Memnonium at Thebes, ii. 35 . 

Memorial stones, ii. 203 

Memphis, head of Osiris at, ii. iz ; oath 
of the kings of Egypt at, 24 ; festival 
of Osiris in the month of Khoiak at, 
1 08 ; Apis the sacred bull of, 119 n. ; 
the sanctuary of Serapis at, 119 . 

Men, make gods, ii. 211 ; dressed as 
women at marriage, 262 sqq. ; dressed 
as women to deceive dangerous spirits, 
262 sq. ; dressed as women at circum- 
cision, 263 

- and women inspired by the spirits 
of dead kings and chiefs, ii. 171, 172, 
192 sq. 

- "of God," prophets, i. 76 

Men Tyrannus, Phrygian moon-god, i. 

284 ; custom as to pollution of death 

at his shrine, ii. 227 
Mentras or Mantras of the Malay Penin- 

sula, their tradition as to primitive 

man, ii. 140 
Mephitic vapours, worship of, i. 203 

Mercurial temperament of merchants and 

sailors, ii. 218 
Mesha, king of Moab, i. 15 ; sacrifices 

his first-born, no' 
Messiah, " the Anointed One," i. 21 
Meteor as signal for festival, i. 359 
Methanne, daughter of Pygmalion, i. 

Metkide plant growing over grave of 
Osiris, ii. iiz 

Mexican calendar, its mode of intercala- 
tion, ii. 38 . 8 

Mexicans, their human sacrifices for the 
maize, ii. 107 

Mexico, rule as to the felling of timber 
in, ii. 136 

Meyer, Professor Eduard, on prophecy 
in Canaan, i. 75 *.*; on the Hittite 
language, 135 n. \ on costume of 
Hittite priest or king, 133 ., 141 n. 1 ; 
on the rock-hewn sculptures of Boghaz- 
Keui, 133 n. ; on Anubis at Abydos, 

ii. 1 8 .* ; on the hawk as an Egyptian 
emblem, 22 n. 1 ; on the date of the 
introduction of the Egyptian calendar, 
36 . a ; on the nature of Osiris, 126 
n. 2 ; on the relation of Byblus to 
Egypt, i27n. 1 ; on the Lycian lan- 
guage, 213 it. 1 

Michael Angelo, the Pieta of, i. 257 
Michaelmas, 29th September, ii. 74 
Midas, the tomb of, i. 286 

- and Gordias, names of Phrygian 
kings, i. 286 

Midsummer, old heathen festival of, in 
Europe and the East, i. 249 sq. ; 
divination at, 252 sq. 

- bathing, pagan origin of the custom, 
i. 249 

- Bride and Bridegroom in Sweden, 
i. 251 

- Day or Eve, custom of bathing on, 
i. 246 sqq. 

- fires and couples in relation to 
vegetation, i. 250 sq. \ leaping over 
the fires to make flax or hemp grow 
tall, 251 

Mil com, the god of Arnmon, i. 19 
Milk, serpents fed with, i. 84^., 87; 

offered at graves, 87 
Mill, women mourning for Tammuz eat 

nothing ground in a mill, i. 230 
Milne, Mrs. Leslie, on the Shans, ii 

Milton on the laments for Tancmur, i 

226 n. 

Minoan age of Greece, i. 34 
Minucius Felix on the rites of Osiris, ii 

Miraculous births of gods and heroes, i. 

"Mistress of Turquoise," goddess at 

Sinai, i. 35 
Mitani, ancient people of Northern 

Mesopotamia, i 135 *. 
Mithra, Persian deity, popularity of his 

worship in the Roman Empire, L 301 

sq. ; identified with the Unconquered 

Sun, 304 
Mithraic religion a. rival to Christianity, 

i. 302 ; festival of Christmas borrowed 

from it, 302 sqq. 
Miztecs of Mexico, their annual festival 

of the dead, ii. 54 Jf . 
Mnevis, sacred Egyptian boll, ii. zx 
Moa, theory of earthquakes in, i 198 
Moab, Mesha, king of, i. 15 ; tb* wSder. 

ness of, 52 sq. ; the springs of CtHJr- 

rhoe in, 214 sqq. 
- , Arabs of, their otstoa * harvest, 

11.48,96; their remedies for ailments, 

Moabite stone, tbe jnsotptJcm on the, i. 

163 *+* 

15 ., 

so m*> 



Moabites burn the bones of the kings of 

Edom, ii. 104 

Models in cardboard offered to the dead 
instead of the things themselves, ii. 
63 sq. 

Mohammedan peoples of North Africa, 
their custom of bathing at Midsummer, 
i. 249 

saints as givers of children, i. 78 


Mohammedanism, ii. 160 
Mohammedans of Oude, their mode of 

drinking moonshine, ii. 144 
Moire, sister of Tylon, i. 186 
Moloch, meaning of the name, i. 15 ; 
sacrifices of first-born children to, 178 ; 
the king, ii. 219 sqq. 

and M fleck, ii. 219 sq. 

Mommsen, Th. , on the date of the 

festival of Osiris at Rome, ii. 95 n. 1 
Mongols, funeral customs of the, i. 293 
Monmouthshire, All Souls' Day in, ii. 

Monomotapa, a CafFre king, his way of 

prolonging his life, ii. 222 sq. 
Montanists, their view as to the date of 

Creation, i. 307 . 2 
Months, the Egyptian, table of, ii. 

37 * 
Moon, human victims sacrificed to the, 

i. 73 ; albinoes thought to be the 
offspring of the, 91 ; popularly re- 
garded as the cause of growth and 
decay, ii. 132, 138 ; practical rules 
based on a theory of the influence of 
the, 132 sqq. , 140 sqq. ; popularly 
regarded as the source of moisture, 

1 37 J ^- ? worshipped by the agri- 
cultural Indians of tropical America, 

138 sq. ; viewed as the husband of 
the sun, 139 n, ; Athenian superstition 
as to an eclipse of the, 141 ; children 
presented to the, 144 sqq. ; thought to 
have a harmful influence on children, 

, the new, ceremonies at, ii. 141 sqq. ; 

dances at, 142 ; custom of showing 

money to, or turning it in the pocket, 

148 sq. 
, the waning, theories to explain, ii. 

130 ; thought to be broken or eaten 

up, 130 

Being of the Omahas, ii. 256 

, the infant god, ii. 131, 153 
god conceived as masculine, i. 73 ; 

inspiration by the, 73 ; in ancient 

Babylonia, ii, 138 sg. 
Moonshine dnmk as a medicine in India, 

ii 144 ; thought to be beneficial to 

children, ii. 144 

M6ooi, Tongan god who causes earth- 
quakes, i. aoi 

Moore, G. F., on the burnt sacrifice oi 

children, ii. 219 n. 1 

Moravia, the feast of Ail Souls in, ii. 73 
Moret, Alexandre, on Amenophis IV., 

ii. 123 w. 1 ; on the Sed festival, 155 

Mori, a district of Central Celebes, 

belief of the natives as to a spirit in 

the moon, ii. 139 n. 
Moriah, Mount, traditionally identified 

with Mount Zion, ii. 219 n. 1 
Morning Star, appearance of, perhaps 

the signal for the festival of Adonis, i. 

258 sq. 
Morocco, custom of prostitution in an 

Arab tribe in, i. 39 . 8 
Morrison, Rev. C. W., on belief of 

Australian aborigines as to childbirth, 

. 103 


Mostene in Lydia, double-headed axe at, 

i. 183 n. 
Mota, belief as to conception in women 

in, i. 97 sq. 
"Mother" and "Father" as epithets 

applied to Rom&n goddesses and gods, 

ii. 233 sqq. 
, dead, worshipped, ii. 175, 185 

Earth, festival in her honour m 

Bengal, i. 90 ; fertilized by Father 
Sky, myth of, 282 

Goddess of Western Asia, sacred 

prostitution in the worship of the, i. 
36 ; lions as her emblems, 137, 164 ; 
her eunuch priests, 206 ; of Phrygia 
conceived as a Virgin Mother, 281 

-kin, succession in royal houses 

with, i. 44 ; trace of, at Rome and 
Nemi, 45 ; among the Khasis of 
Assam, 46, ii. 202 sqq. \ among the 
Hittites, traces of, i. 141 sq, ; and 
Mother Goddesses, ii. 201 sqq> t 212 
sqq. ; and father -kin, 202, 261 n* ; 
favours the superiority of goddesses 
over gods in religion, 202 sqq.* 211 
sq. ; its influence on religion, 202 sqq. ; 
among the Pelew Islanders, 204 sqq. \ 
does not imply that government is in 
the hands of women, 208 sqq. ; among 
the Melanesians, 211 ; in Africa, 211 ; 
in Lycia, 212 sq. ; in ancient Egypt, 
213 sqq. ; traces of, in Lydia and 
Cos, 259 ; favours the development of 
goddesses, 259. See also Female kin- 

of a god, i. 51, 52 

of the gods, first-fruits offered to 

the, i 280 a. 1 ; popularity of her 

worship in the Roman Empire, 298 


Plastene on Mount Sipylus, i. 185 

' Mother's Air," a tune on the flute 

i. 282 


"Mothers of the Clan" in the Pelew 
Islands, ii. 205, 206 

Motiav, belief as to conception in women 
in, i. 98 

Mournful character of the rites of sow- 
ing, ii. 40 sgq. 

Mourning for Attis, i. 272 ; for the corn- 
god at midsummer, ii. 34 

costume of men in Lycia, ii. 264 ; 

perhaps a mode of deceiving the ghost, 

Mouth of the dead, Egyptian ceremony 
of opening the, it 15 

Moylar, male children of sacred prosti- 
tutes, i. 63 

Mpongwe kings of the Gaboon, buried 
secretly, ii. 104 

Mugemctt the earl of Busiro, ii. 168 

Mukasa, the chief god of the Baganda, 
probably a dead man, ii. 196 sq. 
gives oracles through a woman, 257 

Mukuru, an ancestor (plural Ovakuru, 
ancestors), ii. 185 sq. 

Muller, Professor W. Max, on Hittite 
name for god, i. 148 n. 

Mundas of Bengal, gardens of Adonis 
among the, i. 240 

Mungarai, Australian tribe, their belief 
in the reincarnation of the dead, i. 

Murder of children to secure their re- 
birth in barren women, i. 95 

Murli, female devotee, i. 62 

Music as a means of prophetic inspiration, 
L 52 sq. t 54 sq., 74 ; in exorcism, 54 
sq. ; and religion, 53 sq. 

Musquakie Indians, infant burial among 
the, i, 91 n. 9 

Mutilation of dead bodies of kings, 
chiefs, and magicians, ii. 103 sgq. ; 
to prevent their souls from becoming 
dangerous ghosts, 188 

Mycenae, royal graves at, i. 33, 34 

Mycenaean age of Greece, i. 34 

Mylasa in Caria, i. 182 . 4 

Mylitta, Babylonian goddess, sacred 
prostitution in her worship, i. 36, 

37*- 1 
Myrrh or Myrrha, the mother of Adonis, 

i 43, 227 sq. 
tree, Adonis born of a, i. 227, it 

Mysore, sacred women in, i. 62 . ; the 

Komatis of, 81 sq. 
Mysteries of Sabazius, i. 90 *, 4 ; of Attis, 


Myth and ritual of Attis, i. 263 sqg. 
Myths supposed to originate in verbal 

misapprehensions or a disease of 

language, ii. 42 
, Italian, of kings or heroes begotten 

by the fire-god, ii. 235 

Naaburg, in Bavaria, custom at sowing 
at, i. 239 

" Naaman, wounds of the," Arab name 

for the scarlet anemone, i. 226 
Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, i. 174 
Ndga, serpent god, i. 81 
Naga-padoha, the agent of earthquakes, 

1. 200 

Nahanarvals, a German tribe, priest 

dressed as a woman among the, ii. 

Nahr Ibrahim, the river Adonis, i. 14. 

Namal tribe of West Australia, their 

belief as to the birth of children, i. 

Names, royal, signifying relation to 

deity, i. 15 sqq. ; Semitic personal, 

indicating relationship to a deity, 51 ; 

Hebrew, ending in -*/or -*<zA, 79 #.* 
Nana, the mother of Attis, i. 263, 369, 

Nandi, the, of British East Africa, their 

belief in serpents as reincarnations of 

the dead, L 82, 85 ; their ceremony at 

the ripening of the efeusine grain, ii. 

47 ; boys dressed as women and girls 

dressed as men at circumcision among 

the, 263 
Nanjundayya, H. V., on serpent worship 

in Mysore, i 81 sq. 
Naples, grotto del cani at, t 205 n. 1 ; 

custom of bathing on St. John's Eve 

at, 246 

Narmer, the mace of, ii. 154 
National character partly an effect of 

geographical and climatic conditions, 

ii. 217 
Nativity of the Sun at the winter solstice, 

i. 303 sqq. 
Natural calendar of the husbandman? 

shepherd, and sailor, ii. 25 
Nature of Osiris, it 96 sqq. 
Navel-string of the king of Uganda 

preserved and inspected every new 

moon, ii. 147 $g* 
Navel-strings of dead kings of Uganda 

preserved, ii. 167, 168, 171 ; ghosts 

of afterbirths thought to adhere to, 

169 sq. ; preserved by die Baganda 

as their twins and as .containing the 

ghosts of their afterbirths, 169 q* 
Ndjambi, Njambi, Njame, Zambi, 

Nyambe, etc., name of the supreme 

god among various tribes of Africa, 

ii. iS6 t with note* 

the supreme god of the 

Hereto, ii. 186 

Nebseni, the papyrus of, E. xMt 
Neith or Net, an Egyptian goddess, 1 

28? *., B. 5Z ** 

Neknt, the papyrus of, i. XI* 



Nemi, Dianus and Diana at, i. 45 
Nephthys, Egyptian goddess, sister of 

Osiris and Isis, ii. 6 ; mourns Osiris, 


Neptune and Salacia, ii. 231, 233 
Nerio and Mars, ii. 232 
New birth through blood in the rites of 

Attis, i. 274 sq. ; savage theory of, 

299 ; of Egyptian kings at the Sed 

festival, ii. 153, 155 sq. 
. Britain, theory of earthquakes in, 

i. 201 
Guinea, German, the Kai of, i. 96 ; 

the Tami of, 198 
Mexico, the Pueblo Indians of, ii. 

- moon, ceremonies at the, ii. 141 

World, bathing on St. John's Day 

in the, i. 249 ; All Souls' Day in the, 

ii. 80 
Year's Day, festival of the dead on, 

U. 53. 55. 62, 65 
Zealand, Rotomahana in, i. 207, 

209 n. 
Newberry, Professor P. E. , on Osiris as 

a cedar-tree god, ii. 109 n. 1 
Newman, J. H. , on music, i. 53 sq. 
Ngai, God. i. 68 

Ngoni, their belief in serpents as re- 
incarnations of the dead, i. 82 
Nguruhi, the supreme god of the Wahehe, 

ii. 188 sq. 
Niambe, the supreme god of the Barotse, 

ii. 193 
Nias, conduct of the natives of, in an 

earthquake, i. 201 sq. ; head-hunting 

in, 296 n. 1 
Nicaragua, Indians of, sacrifice human 

victims to volcanoes, i. 219 
Nietzold, J. , on the marriage of brothers 

with sisters in ancient Egypt, ii. 2x6 

Nigmann, E., on the religion of the 
Wahehe, ii. 188 sq. 

Nikunau, one of the Gilbert Islands, 
sacred stones in, i. 108 n, 1 

Nile, the rise and fall of the, ii. 30 sqq. ; 
rises at the summer solstice in June, 
31 ii. 1 , 33 ; commanded by the King 
of Egypt to rise, 33; thought to be 
swollen by the tears of Isis, 33 ; gold 
and silver thrown into the river at its 
rising, 40; the rise of, attributed to 
Serapis, 216 sq. 

, the " Bride" of the, ii. 38 

Nflsson, Professor M. P., on custom of 
sacred prostitution, i. 37 *i. a , 57 n.\ 
58 .* ; on the sacrifice of a bull to 
Zeus, ii. 239 .* 
Nineveh, the end of, L 174 
Njamus, the, of British East Africa, their 

sacrifices at irrigation channels, ii. 38 

Normandy, rolling in dew on St. John's 

Day in, i. 248 
Northern Territory, Australia, beliefs as 

to the birth of children in the, i. 103 

**' ^ 

Nottinghamshire, harvest custom in, i. 

238 n. 

November, festivals of the dead in, ii. 
51, 54, 69 sqq. \ the month of sowing 
in Egypt, 94 
Novitiate of priests and priestesses, i. 66, 

Nullakun tribe of Australia, their belief 

as to the birth of children, i. 101 
Nut, Egyptian sky-goddess, mother of 
Osiris, i. 283 .*, ii. 6, 16; in a 
sycamore tree, no 
Nutlets of pines used as food, i. 278 

. a 
Nutritive and vicarious types of sacrifice, 

ii. 226 

Nyakang, the first of the Shilluk kings, 
worshipped as the god of his people, 
ii. 162 sqq ; incarnate in various 
animals, 163 sq.\ his mysterious dis- 
appearance, 163 ; his graves, 163, 
1 66 ; historical reality of, 164, 166 
sq.\ his relation to the creator Juok, 
164 sq. \ compared to Osiris, 167 
Nymphs of the Fair Crowns at Olympia, 

ii. 240 

Nysa, in the valley of the Maeander, L 
205, 206 n. 1 ; sacrifice of bull at, 
292 . 8 

Nyuak, L., on guardian spirits of Sea 
Dyaks, i. 83 

Oak or terebinth, sacred at Mamre, i. 

37. a 
Oath of Egyptian kings not to correct 

the vague Egyptian year by inter- 
calation, ii. 26 

Obelisk, image of Astarte, i. 14 
Obelisks, sacred, at Gezer, i. 108 
Obscene images of Osiris, ii. 1x2 
Octennial cycle, old, in Greece, ii. 

242 n. 
October, the first of, a great Saxon 

festival, ii. 81 ft. 3 
Odilo, abbot of Clugny, institutes feast 

of All Souls, ii. 82 
Odin, hanged on a tree, i. 290 ; human 

victims dedicated by hanging to, 290 ; 

king's sons sacrificed to, ii. 220 
Oenomaus, king of Pisa, his incest with 

his daughter, i. 44 n. 1 
Oeta, Mount, Hercules burnt on, i. uz, 

Il6, 2IX 

Offerings to dead kings, ii. 194 

Oil, holy, poured on king's head, i, ax 



poured on sacred stones, 36 ; as 
vehicle of inspiration, 74 
Olba, priestly kings of, i. 143 syg. t 161 ; 
the name of, 148 ; the ruins of, 

151 sq. 
Old Woman of the corn, mythical being 

of the Cherokee Indians, ii. 46 $q. 
Olive of the Fair Crown at Olympia, ii. 

branches carried in procession and 

hung over doors at Athens, ii. 238 
Olo Ngadjoe, the, of Borneo, i. 91 
Olonets, Russian Government of, festival 

of the dead in, ii. 75 
Olympia, the quack Peregrinus bums 

himself at, i. 181 ; the cutting of the 

olive-branches to form the victors' 

crowns at, ii. 240 
Olympic festival based on an octennial 

cycle, ii. 242 n. 1 

Olympus, Mount, in Cyprus, i. 32 
Oraahas, Indian tribe of North America, 

effeminate men among the, ii. 255 sq. 
Omonga, a rice-spirit who lives in the 

moon, ii. 139 . 

Omphale and Hercules, i. 182, ii. 258 
On, King of Sweden. See Aim. 
Oodeypoor, in Raj put ana, gardens of 

Adonis at, i. 241 sq. 
Opening the eyes and mouth of the dead, 

Egyptian funeral rite, ii. 15 
Operations of husbandry regulated by 

observation of the moon, ii. 133 sqq. 
Ops, the wife of Saturn, ii. 233 ; in 

relation to Census, 233 n. 9 
Oracles given by the spirits of dead 

kings, ii. 167, 171. 172 
Oraons of Bengal, their annual marriage 

of the Sun and Earth, i. 46 sqq. \ 

gardens of Adonis among the, 240 ; 

their annual festival of the dead, ii. 

Orcus, Roman god of the lower world, 

his marriage celebrated by the pontiffs, 

ii. 231 
Ordeal of chastity, i. 115 .* 

Orestes at Castabala, i. 115 

Orgiastic rites of Cybele, i. 278 

Oriental mind untrammelled by logic, i. 
4 n. 1 

religions in the West, i. 298 sqq. ; 

their influence in undermining ancient 
civilization, 299 sqq, ; importance 
attached to the salvation of the in- 
dividual soul in, 300 

Origen, on thi refusal of Christians to 
fight, i. 301 n. 1 

Origin of Osiris, ii. 158 sqq. 

Orion, appearance of the constellation, a 
signal for sowing, i. 290 sq. 

Orpheus, prophet and musician, i. 55 ; 
the legend of his death, it 99 

Orwell in Cambridgeshire, harvest custom 
at, i. 237 .* 

Oschophoria, vintage festival at Athens, 
ii, 258 . 6 

Osirian mysteries, the hall of the, at 
Abydos, ii. 108 

Osiris identified with Adonis and Attis, 
i. 32, ii. 127 . ; myth of, ii. 3 sqq. ; 
his birth, 6; introduces the cultiva- 
tion of corn and the vine, 7, 97, 112 ; 
his violent death, 7 sq. ; at Byfalus, 
9 sq. t 22 sq. t 127; his body rent in 
pieces, 10 ; the graves of, 10 sq. ; his 
dead body sought and found by Isis, 
10, 50, 85 ; tradition as to his genital 
organs, 10, 102 ; mourned by Isis and 
Nephthys, 12 ; invited to come to his 
house, 12, 47 ; restored to life by 
Isis, 13 ; king and judge of the dead, 
13 sq. \ his body the first mummy, 
15 ; the funeral rites performed over 
his body the model of all funeral rites 
in Egypt, 15 ; all the Egyptian dead 
identified with, 16 ; his trial and 
acquittal in the court of the gods, 17 ; 
represented in art as a royal mummy, 
1 8 ; specially associated with Busiris 
and Abydos, 18 ; his tomb at Abydos, 
1 8 sq. , 197 sq. ; official festivals of, 
49 sqq. ; his sufferings displayed in a 
mystery at night, 50; his festival in 
the month of Athyr, 84 sqq. ; dramatic 
representation of his resurrection in his 
rites, 85 ; his images made of veget- 
able mould, 85, 87, 90 jf., 91; the 
funeral rites of, described in the in- 
scription of Denderah, 86 sqq. ; his 
festival in the month of Khoiak, 86 
jgfj?., 108 sq. ; his M garden," 87 s$. ; 
ploughing and sowing in the rites of, 
87. 90, 96 ; the burial of, in his rites* 
88 ; the holy sepulchre of, trader 
Persea-trees, 88 ; represented with 
corn sprouting from his dead body. 89 ; 
his resurrection depicted on the monu- 
ments, 89 sq.\ as a corn-god, 89 sqq., 
96 sqq. ; corn-stuffed effigies of, buried 
with the dead as a symbol of resurrec- 
tion, 90^., 114; date of the celebra- 
tion of his resurrection at Rome, 95 
. 1 ; the nature of, 96 sg$. ; his severed 
limbs placed on a corn-sieve, 97; 
human victims sacrificed by kings at 
the grave of, 97 ; suggested explana- 
tions of his dismemberment, 97 ; some- 
times explained by the ancients as a 
personification of the com, 107 ; as a 
tree-spirit, 107 sqq. ; his image made 
oat of a pine-tree, to8 ; bk embteow 
the crook and scourge or flail, xe&, 
153, compare ao; his backbone re- 
presented by the jferf pillar, xoft *f. ; 


interpreted as a cedar-tree god, 109 
jt. 1 ; his soul in a bird, no ; repre- 
sented as a mummy enclosed in a 
tree, no, in ; obscene images of, 
112; as a god of fertility, 112 sq. ; 
Identified with Dionysus, 113, 126 . 8 ; 
a god of the dead, 113 sq. ; universal 
popularity of his worship, 114 ; inter- 
preted by some as the sun, 120 sqq. , 
reasons for rejecting this interpreta- 
tion, 122 sqq.\ his death and resurrec- 
tion interpreted as the decay and 
growth of vegetation, 126 sqq. ; his 
body broken into fourteen parts, 129 ; 
interpreted as the moon by some of 
the ancients, 129 ; reigned twenty- 
eight years, 129 ; his soul thought to 
be imaged in the sacred bull Apis, 
130 ; identified with the moon in 
hymns, 131 ; represented wearing on 
his head a full moon within a 
crescent, 131 ; distinction of his myth 
and worship from those of Adonis and 
Attis, 158 sq. ; his dominant position 
in Egyptian religion, 158 sq. ; the 
origin of, 158 sqq. ; his historical 
reality asserted in recent years, 160 
n. 1 ; his temple at Abydos, 198 ; his 
title Khenti-Amenti, 198 n. z ; com- 
pared to Charlemagne, 199 ; the ques- 
tion of his historical reality left open, 
199 sq. ; his death still mourned in 
the time of Athanasius, 217 ; his old 
type better preserved than those of 
Adonis and Attis, 218 
Osiris, Adonis, Attis, their mythical 
similarity, i. 6, ii. 201 

and Adonis, similarity between their 

rites, ii. 127 

and Dionysus, similarity between 

their rites, ii. 127 
and the moon, ii. 129 sqq. 
" of the mysteries," ii. 89 

Sep, title of Osiris, ii. 87 

Ostrich-feather, king of Egypt supposed 
to ascend to heaven on an, ii. 154, 

Otho, the emperor, addicted to the 

worship of Isis, ii. 118 n. 1 
Oulad Abdi, Arab tribe of Morocco, i. 

39 a- 3 
Oura, ancient name of Olba, i. 148, 152 

Ourwira, theory of earthquakes in, L 

Ovambo, the, of German South-West 

Africa, their ceremony at the new 

moon, ii. 142 ; the worship of the 

dead among the, 188 
Ovid, on the story of Pygmalion, i. 

49 a.* 
Owl regarded as the guardian spirit of a 

tree, ii m a. 1 

Ox substituted for human victim In 
sacrifice, i. 146 ; embodying com- 
spirit sacrificed at Athens, 296 sq. 
black, used in purificatory ceremonies 
after a battle, ii. 251 sq. 

Ozieri, in Sardinia, St. John's festival at, 
i. 244 

Pacasmayu, the temple of the moon at. 
ii. 138 

Padmavati, an Indian goddess, i. 243 

Pagan origin of the Midsummer festival 
(festival of St. John), i. 249 sq. 

Paganism and Christianity, their resem- 
blances explained as diabolic counter- 
feits, i. 302, 309 sq. 

Haw dju^iflaXifa, a boy whose parents are 
both alive, ii. 236 . a 

Palatinate, the Upper, the feast of All 
Souls in, ii. 72 

Palestine, religious prostitution in, i. 58 ; 
date of the corn-reaping in, 232 n. 

Palestinian Aphrodite, i. 304 . 

Palestrina, the harmonies of, i. 54 

Pampadel Sacramento, Peru, earthquakes 
in, i. 198 

Pampas, bones of extinct animals in the, 

i. 158 

Pamyles, an Egyptian, ii. 6 
Pandharpur, in the Bombay Presidency, 

i. 243 
Panaghia Aphroditessa at Paphos, i. 

Panku, a being who causes earthquakes, 

i. 198 

Papas, a name for Attis, i. 281, 282 
Paphlagonian belief that the god is bound 

fast in winter, ii. 41 
Paphos in Cyprus, i. 32 sqq . ; sanctuary 

of Aphrodite at, 32 sqq. \ founded by 

Cinyras, 41 
Papyrus of Nebseni, ii. 112 ; of Nekht, 


swamps, Isis in the, ii. 8 

Parilia and the festival of St. George, i. 


Parr, Thomas, i. 56 
Parvati or Isa, an Indian goddess, L 241, 


Pasicyprus, king of Citium, i. 50 .* 
Patagonia, funeral customs of Indians of, 

i. 294 

Patagonians, effeminate priests or sor- 
cerers among the, ii. 254 
Paternity, primitive ignorance of, i. 106 

sq. ; unknown in primitive savagery, 

and maternity of the Roman deities, 

ii. 233 sqq. 
Paton, W. R. , on modem Greek feast ol 

All Souls in May, u. 78 . A 
Patrae, Laphrian Artemis at, i. 126 .* 



Pausanias on the necklace of Harmonia, 
i. 32 . 2 ; on bones of superhuman 
size, 157 . a ; on offerings to Etna, 
221 .*? on the Hanged Artemis, 
291 . a 

Payne, E. J., on the origin of moon- 
worship, ii. 138 . 2 

Pegasus and Bellerophon, i. 302 n, 4 

Pegu, dance of hermaphrodites in, i. 
271 n. 

Peking, Ibn Batuta at, i. 289 

Pe*l, goddess of the volcano Kirauea in 
Hawaii, i. 217 sqq. 

Pelew Islanders, their system of mother- 
kin, ii. 204 sqq. ; predominance of 
goddesses over gods among them, 204 
sqq. ; customs of the, 253 sqq. 

- Islands and the ancient East, parallel 
between, ii. 208 ; prostitution of un- 
married girls in, 264 sq, ; custom of 
slaying chiefs in the, 266 sqq. 

Pelion, Mount, sacrifices offered on the 
top of, at the rising of Sirius, ii. 36 a. 

Peloponnese, worship of Poseidon in, i. 

Pelops restored to life, i. 181 

Peneus, the river, at Ternpe, ii. 240 

Pennefather River in Queensland, belief 
of the natives as to the birth of children, 
i. 103 

Pentheus, king of Thebes, rent in pieces 
by Bacchanals, ii. 98 

Peoples of the Aryan stock, annual 
festivals of the dead among the, ii. 
67 sqq. 

Pepi the First, ii. 5 ; his pyramid* 4 
n. 1 

Perasia, Artemis, at Castabala, i. 167 

Peregrinus. his death in the fire, i. 181 
Perga in Pamphylia, Artemis at, i. 35 
Periander, tyrant of Corinth, his burnt 

sacrifice to his dead wife, i. 179 
Perigord, rolling in dew on St. John's 

Day in, i. 248 
Peritius, month of, i. in 
Perpetual holy fire in temples of dead 

kings, ii. 174 

- fires worshipped, i. 191 sqq. 
Perrot, G. , on rock-hewn sculptures at 

Boghaz-Keui, i. 138 *. 
Persea-trees in the rites of Osiris, ii. 87 

it. 8 ; growing over the tomb of Osiris, 

Persephone, name applied to spring, ii. 

and Aphrodite, their contest for 

Adonis, i. n sq. 

and Pluto, temple of, L 205 

Perseus, the virgin birth of, i. 302 .* 
Persian reverence for fire, i 174 sq. 
festival of the dead, ii. 68 

Persian fire-worship and priests, 191 
Personation of gods by priests, i. 45. 46 

Peru, earthquakes in, i. 202 ; sacrifice of 

sons in, ii. 220 *.* 

Peruvian Indians, their theory of earth- 
quakes, i. 201 

Pescara River, in the Abruzzi, i, 246 
PescinaintheAbruzzi, Midsummer custom 

at, i. 246 

Pessinus, image of Cybele at, i. 35 *.* ; 
priests called Attis at, 140; local 
legend of Attis at, 264 ; image of the 
Mother of the Gods at, 265 ; people 
of, abstain from swine, 265; high- 
priest of Cybele at, 285 
Petrarch at Cologne on St. John's Eve, 

i. 247 sq. 

Petrie, Professor W. M. Flinders, on the 
date of the corn-reaping in Egypt and 
Palestine, i. 231 .*; on the Sed 
festival, ii. 151 #.* 152 .*, 154 s$. ; 
on the marriage of brothers with sisters 
in Egypt, 216 n. 1 

Petrified cascades of Hierapolis, i. 207 
Petroff, Ivan, on a custom of the Koaiags 

of Alaska, ii. 106 
Phamenoth, an Egyptian month, ii. 49 

i*. 1 . 130 

Phaophi, an Egyptian month, ii. 49 J*. 1 , 94 
Pharnace, daughter of Megassaies, L 41 
Phatrabot, a Cambodian month, ii. 61 
Phidias, his influence on Greek religion, 

i. 54 a- 1 
Philadelphia, subject to earthquakes, i. 

194 sq. 
Philae, Egyptian relief at, ii. 50 w. ; 

mystic representation of Osiris in the 

temple of Isis at, 89 ; sculptures in the 

temple of Isis at, xn ; the grave of 

Osiris at, in ; the dead Osiris in the 

sculptures at, 112 
Philo of Alexandria on the date of the 

corn-reaping, i. 231 .* 
Philocalus, calendar of, i 303 IK.*, 301 

.*, 307 ., ii. 95*. 1 
Philosophy, school of, at Tarsus, L 118 
Philostephanus, Greek historian, i. 49 

n. 4 
Phoenician temples in Malta, i. 35; 

sacred prostitution in, 37 

kings in Cyprus, i 49 

Phoenicians in Cyprus, i 31 sq. 
Phrygia, Attis a deity of, i. 263 ; fowrml 

of Cybele in, 274 . ; indigenous race 

of, 287 
Phrygian belief that the god sleeps IB 

winter, it. 41 

cap of Attis, i 

cosmogony, i 

kings named Midas and GordiM,L 


3 o6 


Phrygian moon-god, i. 73 

priests named Attis, i. 285, 287 

Phrygians, invaders from Europe, i. 


Pictd of Michael Angelo, i. 257 
Pig's blood used in exorcism and purifi- 
cation, i. 299 a. 2 
Pigs sacrificed annually to the moon and 

Osiris, ii. 131. See also Swine 
Pillars as a religious emblem, i. 34 J 

sacred, in Crete, 107 . a 
Pindar on the music of the lyre, i. 55 ; 

on Typhon, 156 

Pine-cones symbols of fertility, i. 278 ; 
thrown into vaults of Derneter, 278 ; 
on the monuments of Osiris, ii. no 

seeds or nutlets used as food, i. 


-tree in the myth and ritual of 
Attis, i. 264, 265, 267, 271, 277 sq. t 
285, ii. 98 . 5 Marsyas hung on a, i. 
288 ; in relation to human sacrifices, 
ii. 98 . 8 ; Pentheus on the, 98 . 5 ; 
in the rites of Osiris, 108 
Pipiles of Central America expose their 

seeds to moonlight, ii. 135 
Piraeus, processions in honour of Adonis 

at, i. 227 n. 

Pirates, the Cilician, i. 149 sq. 
PitrPak, the Fortnight of the Manes, 

it 60 
Pitre, G., on Good Friday ceremonies 

in Sicily, i. 255^. 
Placenta, Egyptian standard resembling 

a, ii. 156 n. 1 See also Afterbirth. 
Placianian Mother, a form of Cybele, 

worshipped at Cyzicus, i. 274 n. 
Plasiene, Mother, on Mount Sipylus, i 


Plato, on gardens of Adonis, i. 236 n. 1 
Plautus on Mars and Nerio, ii. 232 
Pleiades worshipped by the Abipones, i. 
258 . a ; the setting of, the time of 
sowing, ii. 41 

Pliny, on the date of harvest in Egypt, 
ii. 32 #.* ; on the influence of the 
moon, 132 ; on the grafting of trees, 
133 *.* ; on the time for felling 
timber, 136 n. 
Piotmus, the death of, i 87 
Houghing, Prussian custom at, i. 238 ; 
and sowing, ceremony of, in the rites 
of Osiris, iL 87 
Ploughmen and sowers drenched with 

water as a rain-charm, i. 238 sq. 
Plutarch on the double-headed axe of 
Zeus Labrandeus, i. 182 ; on the 
myth of Osiris, ii, 3, 5 sqq.\ on 
Harpocrates, 9 n. ; on Osiris at 
Byblus, 22 sq. ; on the rise of 
the Nile, 31 n. 1 ; on the mournful 
character of the rites of sowing, 40 

sqq. \ his use of the Alexandrian year. 
49, 84 ; on an Egyptian ceremony at 
the winter solstice, 50 . 4 ; on the 
date of the death of Osiris, 84 ; on the 
festival of Osiris in the month oi 
Athyr, 91 sq.\ on the dating of 
Egyptian festivals, 94 sq. ; on the rites 
of Osiris, 108 ; on the grave of Osiris, 
in ; on the similarity between the 
rites of Osiris and Dionysus, 127 ; on 
the Flamen Dialis, 229 sq.; on the 
Flaminica Dialis, 230 . a 
Pluto, the breath of, i. 204, 205 ; places 
or sanctuaries of, 204 :qq. ; cave and 
temple of, at Acharaca, 205 
Plutonia, places of Pluto, i. 204 
Pollution of death, ii. 227 sqq. 
Polo, Marco, on custom of people of 

Carnal, i. 39 n* 

Polyboea, sister of Hyacinth, i. 314, 
316 ; identified with Artemis or Per- 
sephone, 315 

Polyidus, a seer, i. 186 .* 
Polynesian myth of the separation of 

earth and sky, i. 283 
Pomegranate causes virgin to conceive, 

i. 263, 269 
Pomegranates forbidden to worshippers 

of Cybele and Attis, i. 280 . 7 
Pomona and Vertumnus, ii. 235 , fl 
Pompey the Great, i. 27 
Pondomisi, a Bantu tribe of South Africa, 

ii. 177 

Pontiffs, the Roman, their mismanage- 
ment of the Julian calendar, ii. 93 
n. 1 ; celebrated the marriage of Orcus, 
Pont us, sacred prostitution in, i. 39, 

Populonia, a Roman goddess, ii. 231 

Port Darwin, Australia, i. 103 
Porta Capena at Rome, i. 273 
Poseidon the Establisher or Securer, i. 

195 sq.\ the earthquake god, 195, 

202 sq. 

and Demeter, i. 280 

Possession of priest or priestess by a 

divine spirit, i. 66, 68 sq. t 72 sqq.', by 

the spirits of dead chiefs, ii. 192 sq. 
Potniae in Boeotia, priest of Dionysus 

killed at, ii. 99 a. 1 
Pots of Basil on St. John's Day in Sicily, 

L 245 

Potter in Southern India, custom ob- 
served by a, i. 191 . a 

Potters in Uganda bake their pots when 
the moon is waxing, ii. 135 

Praeneste, Fortuna Primigenia, goddess 
of, ii. 234 ; founded by Caeculus, 235 

Prague, the feast of All Souls in, ii. 73 

Prayers to dead ancestors, ii. 175 sq., 
178 sq., 183 j#. ; to dead kings, 192 



Pregnancy, causes of, unknown, i. 92 

sq. t 1 06 sq. ; Australian beliefs as to 

the causes of, 99 sqq. 
Priestess identified with goddess, i. 219 ; 

head of the State under a system of 

mother-kin, ii. 203 
Priestesses more important than priests, 

Priesthood vacated on death of priest's 
wife, i. 45 ; of Hercules at Tarsus, 

Priestly dynasties of Asia Minor, i. 140 


king and queen personating god 

and goddess, i. 45 

kings, i. 42, 43 ; of Olba, 143 

sqq., 161 ; Adonis personated by, 
223 sqq. 

Priests personate gods, i. 45, 46 sqq. ; 
tattoo-marks of, 74 . 4 ; not allowed 
to be widowers, ii. 327 sqq. ; the 
Jewish, their rule as to the pollution 
of death, 230 ; dressed as women, 


of Astarte, kings as, u 26 

of Attis, the emasculated, i. 265, 

of Zeus at the Corycian cave, i. 

Procession to the Almo in the rites of 

Attis, i. 273 
Processions carved on rocks at Boghaz- 

Keui, i. 129 sqq. ; in honour of Adonis, 

224 sq., 227 ., 236 n. 1 
Procreation, savage ignorance of the 

causes of, i. 106 sq. 
Procris, her incest with her father Erech- 

theus, i. 44 
Profligacy of human sexes supposed to 

quicken the earth, i. 48 
Property, rules as to the inheritance of, 

under mother-kin, ii. 203 n. 1 ; landed, 

combined with mother-kin tends to 

increase the social importance of 

women, 209 
Prophecy, Hebrew, distinctive character 

of, i. 75 

Prophet regarded as madman, i. 77 
Prophetesses inspired by dead chiefs, ii. 

192 sq. ; inspired by gods, 207 
Prophetic inspiration under the influence 

of music, i. 52 sq^ 54 sq. , 74 ; through 

the spirits of dead kings and chiefs, ii. 

171, 172, 192 *?. 

- marks on body, i. 74 

water drunk on St. John's Eve, i. 

Prophets in relation to kedeshim, i. 76 ; 

or mediums inspired by the ghosts of 
dead kings, ii. 171, 172 

- , Hebrew, their resemblance to those 

of Africa, i. 74 tf* 

Prophets of Israel, their religious and 
moral reform, i. 24 sq. 

Propitiation of deceased ancestors, i. 46 

Prostitution, sacred, before marriage, in 
Western Asia, i. 36 sqq. \ suggested 
origin of, 39 sqq.\ in Western Asia, 
alternative theory of, 57 sqq. \ in India, 
6 1 sqq. ; in Africa, 65 sqq. 

of unmarried girls in the Pclew 

Islands, ii. 264 sq. ; in Yap, one of 
the Caroline Islands, 265 sq. 

Provence, bathing at Midsummer in, i 

Prussia, customs at ploughing and 
harvest in, i. 238 ; divination at Mid- 
summer in, 252 sq. 

Pteria, captured by Croesus, i. 128 

Ptolemy Auletes, king of Egypt, i. 43 

Ptolemy and Berenice, annual festival in 
honour of, ii. 35 n. 1 

Ptolemy I. and Sera pis, ii. 119 n. 

Ptolemy III. Euergetes, his attempt to 
correct the vague Egyptian year by 
intercalation, ii. 27 

Ptolemy V. on the Rosetta Stone, ii. 
152 . 

Ptolemy Soter, L 264 .* 

Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, their 
annual festival of the dead, ii. 54 

Pumi-yathon, king of Citium and Idalium, 

i. 50 
Punjaub, belief in the reincarnation of 

infants in the, i. 94 
Puppet substituted for human victim, i 

219 sq. 
Purification by fire, i. 115 n. 1 , 179 sgq. \ 

by pig's blood, 299 . a ; of Apollo at 

Tenipe, ii. 240 sq. 
Purificatory ceremonies after a battk, 

ii. 251 sq. 

Pyanepsion, an Athenian month, ii. 41 
Pygmalion, king of Citium and Idaliuia 

in Cyprus, i. 50 

, king of Cyprus, i. 41, 49 

, king of Tyre, i. 50 

and Aphrodite, i. 49 sq. 

Pymaton of Citium, i. 50 .* 

Pyramid Texts, ii. 4 sft., 9 a. ; intended 

to ensure the life of dead Egyptian 

kings, 4 sq. ; Osiris and the sycamore 

in the, no ; the mention of Khenti- 

Amenti in the, 198 a, a 
Pyramus, river in Cilicia, i. 165, 167, 173 
Pyre at festivals of Hercules, L n6j at 

Tarsus, 126 ; of dead kings at Jerw- 

salero, 177 fy 
or Torch, name of great festhwl a* 

the Syrian Hierapolis, L 146 
Pythian games, their period, it 242 *. 
Python worshipped by the Bagarwla, L 


-god, human wires of the, L 


Pythons worshipped in West Africa, i. 
83 it. 1 ; dead chiefs reincarnated in, 
ii. 193 


Quail-huDt," legend on coins of Tarsus, 

i. 126 . a 
Quails sacrificed to Hercules (Melcarth), 

i. in sq. ; migration of, 112 
Quatuordecimans of Phrygia celebrate 

the Crucifixion on March 25th, i. 

Queen of Egypt the wife of Ammon, i. 


.. of Heaven, i. 303 . B ; incense 

burnt in honour of the, 228 
Queensland, aborigines of, their beliefs 

as to the birth of children, i. 102 sq. 
Quirinus and Hora, ii. 233 

Ra, the Egyptian sun-god, ii. 6, 8, 12 ; 
identified with many originally inde- 
pendent local deities, 122 sqq. 
Rabbah, captured by David, i. 19 
Rabbis, burnings for dead Jewish, i. 178 


Rain procured by bones of the dead, L 
22 ; excessive, ascribed to wrath of 
God, 22 sq. ; instrumental in rebirth 
of dead infants, 95 ; regarded as the 
tears of gods, ii. 33 \ thought to be 
controlled by the souls of dead chiefs, 

charm in rites of Adonis, i. 237 ; 

by throwing water on the last corn 
cut, 237 sq. 
-god represented with tears running 

from his eyes, ii. 33 . 8 
Rainbow totem, i. zoi 
Rainless summer on the Mediterranean, 

i. 159 sq. 

Rajaraja, king, i. 61 
Rajputana, gardens of Adonis in, i. 241 

Rambree, sorcerers dressed as women in 

the island of, ii. 254 
Rameses II. , his treaty with the Hittites, 

i. 135 sq. ; bis order to the Nile, ii. 33 
Ramman, Babylonian and Assyrian god 

of thunder, i. 163 sq. 
Rams, testicles of, in the rites of Attis, 

i. 269 
Ramsay, Sir W. M., on' rock-hewn 

sculptures at Boghaz-Keui, i. 134 n. 1 , 

137 . 4 ; on priest-dynasts of Asia 

Minor, 140 . 2 ; on the god Tark, 

147 *,* ; on the name Olba, 148 n. 1 ; 

on Hierapolis and Hieropolis, 168 n. 2 ; 

on Attis and Men, 284 .* ; on cruel 

death of the human representative of 

a god in Phrygia, 285 sq. 
Raoul-Rochette on Asiatic deities with 

lions, i 138 n* ; on the burning of 

doves to Adonis, 147 n. 1 ; on apothe- 
osis by death in the fire, 180 n. 1 

Ratumaimbulu, Fijian god of fruit-trees, 
i. 90 

Readjustment of Egyptian festivals, ii. 91 

Reapers, Egyptian, their lamentations, 
i. 232, ii. 45 ; invoke Isis, 117 

Rebirth of infants, means taken to ensure 
the, i. 91, 93 sqq. ; of the dead, pre- 
cautions taken to prevent, 92 sq. ; of 
Egyptian kings at the Sed festival, ii. 
153. iSS sq. 

Red the colour of Lower Egypt, ii. 21 it. 1 

haired men burnt by Egyptians, 

ii. 97, 106 

Reform, the prophetic, in Israel, i. 24 

Reformations of Hezekiah and Josiah, i. 

Rehoboam, King, his family, i. 51 . 3 

Reincarnation of the dead, i. 82 sqq. ; in 
America, 91 ; in Australia, 99 sqq. 

Rekub-el, Syrian god, i. 16 

Relations, spirits of near dead, wor- 
shipped,!. 175, 176; at death become 
gods, ii. 180 

Religion, volcanic, i. 188 sqq. ; how in- 
fluenced by mother-kin, ii. 202 sqq. 

and magic, combination of, i. 4; 

and music, 53 sq. 

Religious ideals a product of the male 
imagination, ii. 211 

systems, great permanent, founded 

by great men, ii. 159 sq. 

Remission of sins through the shedding 
of blood, i. 299 

Remus, the birth of, ii. 235 

Renan, E., on Tammuz and Adonis, L 
6 n. l \ his excavations at Byblus, 
14 n. 1 ; on Adom-melech, 17 ; on the 
vale of the Adonis, 29 n. ; on the burn- 
ings for the kings of Judah, 178 n. 1 ; on 
the discoloration of the river Adonis, 
225 .*; on the worship of Adonis, 

Renouf, Sir P. le Page, on Osiris as 

' the sun, it 126 

Resemblance of the rites of Adonis to 

the festival of Easter, i. 254 sqq. , 306 
Resemblances of paganism to Christianity 

explained as diabolic counterfeits, i. 

302, 309 sq. 

Reshef, Semitic god, i. 16 n. 1 
Resurrection of the dead conceived on 

the pattern of the resurrection of 

Osiris, ii. 15 sq. 

of Attis at the vernal equinox, I 

272 sq. , 307 sq. 

of Hercules (Melcarth), i. in sq. 

of Osiris dramatically represented 

in his rites, ii. 85 ; depicted on the 



monuments, 89 sq. ; date of its cele* 

oration at Rome, 95 n. 1 ; symbolized 

by the setting up of the ded pillar, 109 
Resurrection of Tylon, i. 186 sq. 
Rhine, bathing in the, on St. John's 

Eve, i. 248 
Rhodes described by Strabo, i. 195 * * ; 

worship of Helen in, 292 
Rhodesia, Northern, the Bantu tribes of, 

their worship of ancestral spirits, ii. 

174 sqq. ', their worship of dead chiefs 

or kings, 191 sqq. 
Rhodians, the Venetians of antiquity, i 

Rice, the soul of the, in the first sheaf 

cut, ii. 239 
Ridgeway, Professor W. , on the marriage 

of brothers with sisters, ii. 216 n. 1 
Rites of irrigation in Egypt, ii. 33 sqq. ; 

of sowing, 40 sqq. ; of harvest, 45 sqq. 
Ritual, children of living parents in, ii. 

236 sqq. ', of the Bechuanas at found- 
ing a new town, 249 

of Adonis, i. 233 sqq. 

Rivers as the seat of worship of deities, 

i. 1 60; bathing in, at Midsummer, 

246, 248, 249; gods worshipped be- 
side, 289 
Rivers, Dr. W. H. R., as to Melanesian 

theory of conception in women, i. 97 

sq. ; on the sacred dairyman of the 

Todas, ii. 228 
Rizpah and her sons, i. 22 
Robinson, Edward, on the vale of the 

Adonis, i. 29 it. 
Roccacaramanico, in the Abruzzi, Easter 

ceremonies at, i. 256 . a 
Rock-hewn sculptures at Ibreez, i. 121 

sq. ; at Boghaz-Keui, 129 sqq. 
Rockhill, W. Woodville, on dance of 

eunuchs in Corea, i. 270 n. 2 
Rohde, E. , on purification by blood, i. 

299 . a ; on Hyacinth, 315 
Roman deities called "Father" and 

"Mother," ii. 233 sqq. 

emperor, funeral pyre of, i. 126 sq. 

expiation for prodigies, ii. 244 

financial oppression, i. 301 n.* 

genius symbolized by a serpent, i. 86 

gods, the marriage of the, ii. 230 

sqq. \ compared to Greek gods, 235 

- law, revival of, L 301 

marriage custom, ii. 245 

mythology, fragments of, ii. 235, 

with n. 9 

Romans adopt the worship of the 
Phrygian Mother of the Gods, i. 265 ; 
correct the vague Egyptian year by 
intercalation, ii. 27 sq. 
Rome, high-priest of Cybde at, i. 285 ; 
the celebration of the resurrection of 
Osiris at, ii. 95 .* 

Romulus cut in pieces, ii. 98 ; the birth 
of, 235 

Roper River, in Australia, i. xox 

Roscoe, Rev. John, on serpent-worship, 
i. 86 n. 1 ; on the rebirth of the dead, 
92 sq. ; on potters in Uganda, ii. 135; 
on the religion of the Bahirna, 190 sq. ; 
on the worship of the dead among the 
Baganda, 196 ; on Mukasa, the chief 
god of the Baganda, 196 sq. ; on 
massacres for sick kings of Uganda, 

Rose, the white, dyed red by the blood 
of Aphrodite, i. 226 

Rosetta stone, the inscription, ii. 27, 

Roth. W. E., on belief in conception 

without sexual intercourse, i. 103 *.* 
Rotomahana in New Zealand, pink 

terraces at, i. 207, 209 n. 
Rugaba, supreme god in Kiziba, ii. 173 
Rules of life based on a theory of lunar 

influence, ii. 132 sqq., 140 sqq. 
Rumina, a Roman goddess, ii. 231 
Runes, how Odin learned the magic, L 

Russia, annual festivals of the dead in, 

ii. 75 sqq. 

Russian Midsummer custom, i. 250 sq. 
Rustic Calendars, the Roman, iL 95 n. 1 

Sabazius, mysteries of, i. 90 n. 4 
Sacrament in the rites of Attis, i, 274 

Sacred harlots in Asia Minor, i. 141 

Marriage of priest and priestess as 

representing god and goddess, i. 46 
sqq. ; represented in the rock-hewn 
sculptures at Boghaz-Keui, 140; in 
Cos, ii. 259 .* 

i men " (kedeskim), at Jerusalem, 

t 17 sq. ; and women, 57 sqq. ; in 
West Africa, 65 sqq. ; in Western 
Asia, 72 sqq. ; at Andania, 76 .* 

prostitution, L 36 sqq. ; suggested 

origin of, 39 sqq. ; in Western Asia, 
alternative theory of, 55 sqq. ; in IndU, 
61 sqq. ; in West Africa, 65 Jff. 

slaves, L 73, 79 

, stocks and stones among the 

Semites, i. 107 sqq. 

women in India, L 61 sqq, \ in 

West Africa, 65 sqq. ; in Westers 
Asia, 70 sqq. ; at Andania, 76 .* 

Sacrifice of virginity, i. 60 ; ol virility m 
the rites of Attis and Astarte, 68 sq, t 
270 sq. ; other cases of, 7 * 
nutritive and vicarious types of, iL 

226 . 

Sacrifices to earthquake god, i. aoi 
202 ; to volcanoes, 218 s$q, I to Ife 
dead distinguished frooa sarriflnf to 



the gods, 316 n. 1 ; offered at the rising 
of Sirius, ii. 36 n. ; offered in con- 
nexion with irrigation, 38 sq. \ to dead 
kings, zoi, 162, 166 sq. ; to ancestral 
spirits, 175, 178 sq., 180, 181 sq. t 
183 sq., 190 ; of animals to prolong 
the life of kings, 331 ; without shedding 
of blood, 223 n. 2 

Sacrifices, human, offered at earthquakes, 
i. 2ox ; offered to Dionysus, ii. 98;?. ; 
at the graves of the kings of Uganda, 
168 ; to dead kings, 173 ; to dead 
chiefs, 191 ; to prolong the life of 
kings, 230 sq. , 333 sqq. 

Sadyattes, son of Cadys, viceroy of 
Lydia, i. 183 

Saffron at the Corycian cave, i. 154, 


Sago, magic for the growth of, ii. xoz 
Sahagun, B. de, on the ancient Mexican 

calendar, ii. 29 n. 
St. Denys, his seven heads, ii. 12 
St. George in Syria, reputed to bestow 

offspring on women, i. 78, 79, 90 ; 

festival of, and the Parilia, 308, 309 
St. John, Sweethearts of, in Sardinia, i. 

344 sq. 
St. John, Spenser, on reasons for head- 

hunting in Sarawak, i. 396 
St. John's Day or Eve (Midsummer Day 

or Eve), custom of bathing on, i. 346 

Midsummer festival in Sardinia, i. 
244 sq. 
wort gathered at Midsummer, i. 

252 sq. 

St Kilda, All Saints' Day in, ii 80 
St. Luke, the festival of, on October 

i8th, ii. 55 
Saint-Maries, Midsummer custom at, i. 

S. Martinus Dumiensis, on the date of 

the Crucifixion in Gaul, i. 307 n. 
St. Michael in Alaska, ii. 51 
St Simon and St. Jude's day, October 

s8th, ii. 74 

St. Vitus, festival of, i. 252 
Saintonge, feast of All Souls in, ii. 69 
Saints as the givers of children to women, 

i. 78 sq. t 91, 109 
Sais, the festival of, ii. 49 sqq. 
Sakkara, pyramids at, ii. 4 
Sal tree, festival of the flower of the, i. 

Salacia and Neptune, ii. 231, 233 

Salamis in Cyprus, human sacrifices 
at, i. 145 ; dynasty of Teucrids at, 


Salem, Melchizedek, king of, i. 17 
Satii, priests of Mars, rule as to their 

election, ii. 244 
Salono, a Hindoo festival, i. 343 n. 1 

Salvation of the individual soul, import. 

ance attached to, in Oriental religions, 

i. 300 
Samagitians, their annual festival of the 

dead, ii. 75 

Samal, in North-Western Syria, i 16 
Samaria, the fall of, i. 25 
Samoa, conduct of the inhabitants in an 

earthquake, i. 200 
Samuel consulted about asses, i. 75 ; 

meaning of the name, 79 

and Saul, i. 22 

San Juan Capistrano, the Indians of, 

their ceremony at the new moon, ii! 


Sanda-Sarme, a Cilician king, i. 144 
Sandacus, a Syrian, i. 41 
Sandan of Tarsus, i. 124 sqq. \ the 

burning of, 117 sqq., 126; identified 

with Hercules, 125, 143, 16 1 ; monu- 
ment of, at Tarsus, 126 . a 
(Sandon, Sandes), Cappadocian and 

Cilician god of fertility, i. 125 

and Baal at Tarsus, i. 142 sq. , 161 

Sandon, or Sandan, name of the Lydian 

and Cilician Hercules, i. 182, 184, 

185 ; a Cilician name, 182 
Sandu'arri, a Cilician king, i. 144 
Santa Felicita, successor of Mefitis, i. 

Santiago Tepehuacan, Indians of, their 

custom at sowing, i. 239 ; their annual 

festival of the dead, ii. 55 
Santorin, island of, its volcanic activity, 

i. 195 
Sappho on the mourning for Adonis, i. 

6. a 

Saracus, last king of Assyria, i. 174 
Sarawak, head-hunting in, i. 295 sq. 
Sardanapalus, monument of, at Tarsus, 

L 126 n. 2 ; his monument at Anchiale, 

172 ; the burning of, 173 sqq. ; the 

effeminate, ii. 257 

and Hercules, i. 172 sqq. 

Sardes, captured by Cyrus, i. 174 ; lion 

carried round acropolis of, i. 184, ii. 

Sardinia, gardens of Adonis in, i. 244 sq. 

Sargal, in India, gardens of Adonis at, 

i. 243 

Sarpedonian Artemis, i. 167, 171 
Sasabonsun, earthquake god of Ashantee, 

i. 20 1 
Saturn, the husband of Ops, ii. 233 

and Lua, ii 233 

Saturn's period of revolution round the 

sun, ii 151 sq. 
Saturnine temperament of the farmer, 

ii. 218 
Sauks, an Indian tribe of North America, 

effeminate sorcerers among the, ii 


Saul, burial of, i. 177 n. 4 

and David, i. 21 

Saul's madness soothed by music, i. 53, 

Savages lament for the animals and 

plants which they eat, ii. 43 sq. 
Sawan, Indian month, i. 242 
Saxons of Transylvania, harvest custom 

of the, i. 238 
Sayce, A. H., on kings of Edom, i. 16 ; 

on name of David, 19 n. 2 
Schafer, H., on the tomb of Osiris at 

Abydos, ii. 198 n. 1 
Schlanow, in Brandenburg, custom at 

sowing at, i. 238 sq. 
Schloss, Mr. Francis S. , on the rule as 

to the felling of timber in Colombia, 

ii. 136 . 4 
Schwegler, A., on the death of Romulus, 

ii. 98 . a 

Scipio. his fabulous birth, i. 8z 
Scorpions, Isis and the, ii. 8 
Scotland, harvest custom in, i. 237 
Scottish Highlanders on the influence of 

the moon, ii. 132, 134, 140 
Scythian king, human beings and horses 

sacrificed at his grave, i. 293 
Scythians, their belief in immortality, i. 

294 ; their treatment of dead enemies, 

294 *.* 
Sea, custom of bathing in the, on St. 

John's Day or Eve, i. 246, 248 
Dyaks or Ibans of Borneo, their 

worship of serpents, i. 83 ; their 

festivals of the dead, ii. 56 sq. \ effem- 
inate priests or sorcerers among the, 

253, 256 
Dyaks of Sarawak, their reasons 

for taking human heads, i. 295 sq. 
Season of festival a clue to the nature of 

a deity, ii. 24 
Seasons, magical and religious theories 

of the, i. 3 sq. 
Seb (Keb or Geb), Egyptian earth-god, 

i. 283 .*, ii. 6 
Secret graves of kings, chiefs, and 

magicians, ii. 103 sqq. 
Sed festival in Egypt, ii. 151 sqq. ; its 

date perhaps connected with the 

heliacal rising of Sinus, 152 sq. 

apparently intended to renew the 

king's life by identifying him with the 

dead and risen Osiris, 153 sq. 
Segera, a sago magician of Kiwai, 

dismembered after death, ii. xoz, 


Seker (Sokari), title of Osiris, il 87 
Seler, Professor E., on the ancient 

Mexican calendar, ii. 29 n, 
Seleucus, a grammarian, i. 146 n. 1 
Nicator, long, i. 151 
the Theologian! i. 146 *. 1 

Self-mutilation of Attii and his piiests, 

i- 265 
Seligmann, Dr. C. G., on the five supple- 

mentary Egyptian days, ii. 6 .*; on 

the divinity of Shilluk kings. 161 a. a ; 

on custom of putting Shilluk kings to 

death, 163 

Selwanga, python-god of Baganda, i. 86 
Semiramis at Hierapolis, i. 162 . 9 ; as 

a form of Ishtar (Astarte), 176 sq. ; 

said to have burnt herself, 176 sq, ; 

the mythical, a form of the great 

Asiatic goddess, ii. 258 
Semites, agricultural, worship Baal as 

the giver of fertility, i. 26 sq. ; sacred 

stocks and stones among the, 107 

sqq. ; traces of mother-kin among the, 

ii. 213 
Semitic gods, uniformity of their type, i 


- kings, the divinity of, i. 15 sqq. ; 
as hereditary deities, 51 

- language, Egyptian language akin 
to the, ii. 161 n. 1 

- personal names indicating relation- 
ship to a deity, i. 51 

- worship of Tammuz and Adonis, i. 
6 sqq. 

Stmlicka, festival of the dead among the 
Letts, ii. 74 

Seneca, on the offerings of Egyptian 
priests to the Nile, il 40; on the 
marriage of the Roman gods, 231 ; on 
Salacia as the wife of Neptune, 233 

Senegal and Niger region of West Africa, 
belief as to conception without sexual 
intercourse in, i. 93 n?\ myth of 
marriage of Sky and Earth in the, 282 

Senegambia, the Mandingoes of, ii. 141 
Sennacherib, his siege of Jerusalem, 

i, 25 ; said to have built Tarsus, 

173 .* 
Separation of Earth and Sky, myth of 

the, i. 283 
Serapeum at Alexandria, ii. 1x9 A ; its 

destruction, 217 
Serapis, the later form of Osiris, it. 1x9 

. ; the rise of the Nile attributed to, 

2x6 sq. \ the standard cubit kepi in 

his temple, 2x7 
Serpent as the giver of children* i. 86 ; 

at rites of initiation, 90 *,* 
-- god married to human wives, L 

66 sqq. ; thought to control the crops, 

Serpents reputed the fathers of human 

beings, L 80 *??. ; as embodiments of 
Aesculapius, 80 sq. ; worshipped in 
Mysore, 81 sg. ; as reincarDatioss of 
the dead, 8a ^. ; fed with milk, 84 
., 87 ; thought to have 



of life-giving plants, 186 ; souls of 
dead kings incarnate in, ii. 163, 173 
Servius, on the death of Attis, i, 264 n. 4 ; 
on the marriage of Orcus, ii. 231 ; on 
Salacia as the wife of Neptune, 233 

Tullius, begotten by the fire-god, 

ii. 235 

Sesostris, so-called monument of, i. 185 
Set, or Typhon, brother of Osiris, ii. 6 ; 
murders Osiris, 7 sq. ; accuses Osiris 
before the gods, 17 ; brings a suit of 
bastardy against Horus, 17 ; his 
combat with Horus, 17 ; reigns over 
Upper Egypt, 17 ; torn in pieces, 98. 
See also Typhon 
Sety I. , King of Egypt, ii. 108 
Shamash, Babylonian sun -god, his 
human wives, i. 71 

Semitic god, i. 16 n. 1 

Shamashshumukin, King of Babylon, 

burns himself, i. 173 sq. t 176 
Shammuramat, Assyrian queen, L 177 n. 1 
Shans of Burma, their theory of earth- 
quakes, i. 198 ; cut bamboos for 
building in the wane of the moon, ii. 

Shark-shaped hero, i. 139 n. 1 
Sheaf, the first cut, ii. 239 
Sheep to be shorn when the moon is 
waxing, ii. 134; to be shorn in the 
waning of the moon, 134 n.* 
Sheitan dere t the Devil's Glen, in Cilicia, 

i. 150 

Shenty, Egyptian cow-goddess, ii. 88 
Shifting dates of Egyptian festivals, ii. 

Shilluk kings put to death before their 

strength fails, ii. 163 
Shilluks, their worship of dead kings, ii. 

161 sq. ; their worship of Nyakang, 

the first of the Shilluk kings. 162 sqq. 
Shoulders of medicine-men especially 

sensitive, i. 74 n. 4 

Shouting as a means of stopping earth- 
quakes, i. 197 sqq. 

Shropshire, feast of All Souls in, ii. 78 
Shu, Egyptian god of light, i. 283 .* 
Shuswap Indians of British Columbia 

eat nutlets of pines, i. 278 . 2 
Siam, catafalque burnt at funeral of king 

of, i. 179 ; annual festival of the dead 

in, ii. 65 
Siao, children sacrificed to volcano in, 

i 219 

Sibitti-baal, king of Byblus, i. 14 
Sibyl, the Grotto of the, at Marsala, i. 247 
Sibylline Books, i. 265 
Sicily, Syrian prophet in, i. 74; fossil 

bones in, 157 ; hot springs in, 213 ; 

gardens of Adonis in, 245, 253 sq. ; 

divination at Midsummer in, 254 ; 

Good Friday ceremonies in, 255 sq. 

Sick people resort to cave of Pluto, I 

205 sq. 

Sicyon, shrine of Aesculapius at, i. 81 
Sidon, kings of, as priests of Astarte, i. 

Stem, king, among the Khasis of Assam, 

ii. 210 n. 1 

Sigai, hero in form of shark, i. 139 .i 
Sihanaka, the, of Madagascar, funeral 

custom of the, ii. 246 
Sinai, "Mistress of Turquoise" at, i. 

Sinews of sacrificial ox cut, ii. 252 

Sins, the remission of, through the 

shedding of blood, i. 299 
Sinsharishkun, last king of Assyria, i. 


Sipylus, Mother Plastene on Mount, i. 

Siriac or Sothic period, ii. 36 

Sirius (the Dog-star), observed by 
Egyptian astronomers, ii. 27 ; called 
Sothis by the Egyptians, 34 ; date of 
its rising in ancient Egypt, 34 ; heliacal 
rising of, on July aoth, 34 n.\ 93; 
its rising marked the beginning of the 
sacred Egyptian year, 35 ; its rising 
observed in Ceos, 35 n. 1 ; sacrifices 
offered at its rising on the top of Mount 
Pelion, 36 n. 

the star of Isis, ii. 34, 119 ; in con- 
nexion with the Sed festival, 152 sq. 

Sis in Cilicia, i. 144 

Sister of a god, i. 51 

Sisters, kings many their, i. 316 

Sizu in Cilicia, i. 144 

Skin, bathing hi dew at Midsummer as 
remedy for diseases of the, i. 247, 248 ; 
of ox stuffed and set up, 296 sq. \ body 
of Egyptian dead placed in a bull's, 
ii. 15 w. 7 ; of sacrificial victim used in 
the rite of the new birth, 155 sq, 

Skinner, Principal J., on the burnt 
sacrifice of children, ii. 219 

Skins of human victims, uses made of, i. 
293 ; of horses stuffed and set up at 
graves, 293, 294 

Skull, drinking out of a king's, in order 
to be inspired by his spirit, ii. 171 

Sky conceived by the Egyptians as a 
cow, L 283 . 8 

and earth, myth of their violent 

separation, i. 283 

-god, Attis as a, i. 282 sqq. ; 

married to Earth-goddess, 282, with 
.* ; mutilation of the, 283 

Slaughter of prisoners often a sacrifice to 
the gods, i. 290 . 2 

Slave Coast of West Africa, sacred men 
and women on the, i. 65, 68 ; Ewe- 
speaking peoples of the, 83 n. 1 

Slaves, sacred, in Western Asia, i, 39 n. 1 



Slaying of the Dragon by Apollo at 

Delphi, ii. 240*?. 
Sleep of the god in winter, ii. 41 
Smell, evil, used to avert demons, ii. 


Smeroe, Mount, volcano in Java, i. 221 
Smith, George Adam, on fertility of 

Bethlehem, i. 257 n. 9 
Smith, W. Robertson, on the date of 
the month Tammuz, i. 10 n. l ; on 
anointing as consecration, 21 n.*' t on 
Baal as god of fertility, 26 sq. ; on 
caves in Semitic religion, 169 .* ; on 
Tophet, 177 .* ; on the predominance 
of goddesses over gods in early Semitic 
religion, ii. 213 ; on the sacrifice of 
children to Moloch, 220 n. 1 
Smoking as a mode of inducing in- 

spiration, ii. 172 
Snake-entwined goddess found at Gour- 

nia, i. 88 

Snakes as fathers of human beings, i. 82 ; 
fed with milk, 84 sqq. See also 
Snorri Sturluson, on the dismemberment 

of Halfdan the Black, ii. 100 
Sobk, a crocodile-shaped Egyptian god, 

identified with the sun, ii. 123 
Sochit or Socket, epithet of Isis, ii. 117 
Society, ancient, built on the principle of 
the subordination of the individual to 
the community, i. 300 
Socrates (church historian) on sacred 

prostitution, i. 37 n.* 
Sb'derblom, N., on an attempted reform 

of the old Iranian religion, ii. 83 . a 
Sodom and Gomorrah, the destruction of, 

i. 222 it. 1 
Soerakarta, district of Java, conduct of 

natives in an earthquake, i. 202 n. 1 
Sokari (Seker), a title of Osiris, ii. 87 
Sol invictitSi i. 304 n. 1 
Solanum campjlanthum t ii. 47 
Solomon, King, puts Adoni-jah to death, 

i. Si - a 
, the Baths of, i. 78 ; in Moab, 215 

Solstice, the summer, the Nile rises at 

the, ii. 31 w. 1 , 33 
, the winter, reckoned the Nativity 

of the Sun, i 303 ; Egyptian ceremony 

at, ii. 50 
Somali, marriage custom of the, ii. 246, 


Son of a god, i. 51 
Sons of God, i. 78 sqq. 
Sophocles on the burning of Hercules, i. 

Sorcerers or priests, order of effeminate, 

ii. 253 sqq. . 

Sorrowful One, the vaults of the, u. 41 
Sothic or Siriac period, ii. 36 

Sothis, Egyptian name for the star Sirius, 

ii. 34. See Sirius 

Soul of a tree in a bird, ii. in n. 1 ; of 
the rice in the first sheaf cut, 239 

' ' of Osiris, " a bird, ii. 1 10 

-cakes eaten at the feast of All 

Souls in Europe, ii. 70, 71 sq. t 73, 
78 sqq. 

" Soulmg," custom of, on All Souls' Day 
in England, ii. 79 

14 Day" in Shropshire, ii. 78 

Souls of the dead, reincarnation of the, 
i. 91 sqq. ; brought back among the 
Gonds, 95 sq. 

, feasts of All, ii. 51 sqq. 

South Slavs, devices of women to obtain 
offspring, i. 96 ; marriage customs of, 
ii. 246 
Sowers and ploughmen drenched with 

water as a rain-charm, i. 238 sq. 
Sowing, Prussian custom at, i. 238 sq. ; 
rites of, ii. 40 sqq. 

and ploughing, ceremony of, in the 

rites of Osiris, ii. 87, 90, 96 ; and 
planting, regulated by the phases of 
the moon, 133 sqq. 
Sozomenus, church historian, on sacred 

prostitution, i. 37 
Spain, bathing on St. John's Eve in, I 

Sparta destroyed by an earthquake, L 

196 .* 

Spartan*, their attempt to stop an earth- 
quake, i. 196 

their flute-band, i. 196 

their uniform red, i. 196 

at Thermopylae, i. 197 n. 1 

their regard for the full moon, it 

Uieir brides dressed as men OD the 

wedding night, ii. 260 
Spencer, Baldwin, on reincarnatioD <rf 

the dead, i. 100 *.* 
Spencer, B., and Gillen, F. J. om 

Australian belief in conception withotii 

sexual intercourse, i. 99 
Spermus, king of Lydia, i. 183 
Spieth, J., on the Ewe peoples, i 70 *.- 
Spirit animals supptj*d to enter women 

and be born from them, i. 97 f 

children left by ancestors, i. 100 J*. 

Spirits supposed to consort with women, 

i. 91 ; of ancestors in the form of 

animals, 83 ; of forefathers thought to 

dwell in rivers, ii. 38 
of dead chiefs worshipped hf the 

whole tribe, ii. 175. *7 6 z ?7 W 
181 sq., 187; tliought to control the 
rain, 188 ; prophesy through livinf me 
and women, 192 *$< ! reincarnated m 
animals, 193- See als* Ancestral * 
Spring called Persephone, it 41 


Spnngs, worship of hot, i. 206 sgg. ; bath- 
ing in, at Midsummer, 246, 247, 248, 

Staffordshire, All Souls' Day in, ii. 79 

Standard, Egyptian, resembling a pla- 
centa, ii. 156 n. 1 

Stanikas, male children of sacred prosti- 
tutes, i. 63 

Star of Bethlehem, i. 259 

of Salvation, i. 258 

-spangled cap of Attis, i. 284 
Steinn in Hringariki, barrow of Halfdan 

at, ii. 100 
Stella Marts, an epithet of the Virgin 

Mary, ii. 119 
Stengel, P., on sacrificial ritual of Eleu- 

sis, i. 292 .* 

Stlatlum Indians of British Columbia 
respeci the animals and plants which 
they eat, ii. 44 
Stocks, sacred, among the Semites, i. 

107 sqq. 

Stones, holed, custom of passing through, 
i 36 ; to commemorate the dead, ii. 

, sacred, anointed, i. 36 ; among 
the Semites, 107 sqq. ; among the 
Khasis, 108 n. 1 

Strabo, on the concubines of Ammon, i. 
72 ; on Albanian moon-god, 73 . 4 ; 
on Castabala, 168 n. 6 ; his description 
of the Burnt Land of Lydia, 193 ; on 
the frequency of earthquakes at Phila- 
delphia, 195 ; his description of 
Rhodes, 195 .' ; on Nysa, 206 n. 1 ; 
on the priests of Pessinus, 286 
Stratonicea in Caria, eunuch priest at, i. 
270 . a ; rule as to the pollution of 
death at, ii. 227 sq. 
String music in religion, i. 54 
Su-Mu, a tribe of Southern China, said 
to be governed by a woman, ii. 21 x 

Subordination of the individual to the 
community, the principle of ancient 
society, i. 300 
Substitutes for human sacrifices, i. 146 

sq., 219 sq. t 285, 289, ii. 99, 221 
Succession to the crown under mother- 
kin (female kinship), i. 44, ii. 18, 210 

Sudan, the negroes of, their regard for 
the phases of the moon, ii. 141 

Sudanese, their conduct in an earth- 
quake, i. 198 

Su/etes of Carthage, i. n6 

Sugar-bag totem, i. 101 

Suicides, custom observed at graves of, 
* 93 i ghosts of, feared, 292 .* 

Suk, their belief in serpents as reincarna- 
tions of the dead, L 82, 85 

Sulla at Aedepsus, i. aia 

Sumatra, the Bataks of, i. 199, ii. 239 ; 

the Loeboes of, 264 
Sumba, East Indian island, annual 
festival of the New Year and of the 
dead in, ii. 55 sq. 
Sumerians, their origin and civilization, 

i. 7 sq. 

Summer on the Mediterranean rainless, 
i. 159 sq. 

called Aphrodite, ii. 41 

festival of Adonis, i. 226, 232 n. 

Sun, temple of the, at Baalbec, i. 163 ; 
Adonis interpreted as the, 228 ; the 
Nativity of the, at the winter solstice, 
303 sqq. ; Osiris interpreted as the, ii. 
120 sqq.; called "the eye of Horus," 
I2x ; worshipped in Egypt, 122, 123 
sqq.; the power of regeneration as- 
cribed to the, 143 .* ; salutations to 
the rising, 193 

and earth, annual marriage of, L 

47 sq. 

god annually married to Earth- 
goddess, i. 47 sq, ; the Egyptian, ii. 
123 sqq. ; hymns to the, 123 sq. 

goddess of the Hittites, i. 133 n. 

the Unconquered, Mithra identified 

with, i. 304 

Superiority of the goddess in the myths 
of Adonis, Attis, Osiris, ii. 201 sq.; 
of goddesses over gods in societies 
organized on mother-kin, 202 sqq.; 
legal, of women over men in ancient 
Egypt, 214 

Supplementary days, five, in the Egyptian 
year, ii. 6 ; in the ancient Mexican 
year, 28 ,* ; in the old Iranian year, 
67, 68 

Supreme gods in Africa, ii. 165, 173^., 
174, 186, with note*, 187 n. 1 , 188 sq.> 

Swastika., i. 122 n. 1 
Sweden, May-pole or Midsummer-tree 
in, i. 250 ; Midsummer bride and 
bridegroom in, 251 ; kings of, answer- 
able for the fertility of the ground, ii. 
220 ; marriage custom in, to ensure 
the birth of a boy, 262 
"Sweethearts of St. John" in Sardinia, 

i. 244 sq. 

Swine not eaten by people of Pessinus, i. 
265 ; not eaten by worshippers of 
Adonis. 265 ; not allowed to enter 
Comana in Pontus, 265. See also Pigs 
Sword, girls married to a, i. 61 
Sycamore, effigy of Osiris placed on 
boughs of, ii. 88, xxo ; sacred to 
Osiris, no 
Syene (Assuan), inscriptions at, ii. 35 

Symbolism, coarse, of Osiris and Dionysus, 
u. xx2, 1x3 


Symmachus, on the festival of the Great 
Mother, i. 298 

Syracuse, the Blue Spring at, i. 313 n. 1 

Syria, Adonis in, i. 13 sqq.\ "holy 
men " in, 77 sq. ; hot springs resorted 
to by childless women in, 213 sqq. ; 
subject to earthquakes, 222 . 1 ; the 
Nativity of the Sun at the winter 
soUtice in, 303 ; turning money at the 
new moon in, ii 149 

Syrian god Hadad, i. 15 

peasants believe that women can 

conceive without sexual intercourse, i. 


women apply to saints for offspring, 

i. 109 

writer on the reasons for assigning 

Christmas to the twenty- fifth of Dec- 
ember, i. 304 sg. 

Ta-uz (Tammuz), mourned by Syrian 

women in Harran, i. 230 
Taanach, burial of children in jars at, i. 

109 n. 1 
Tacitus as to German observation of the 

moon, ii. 141 

Taenarum in Laconia, Poseidon wor- 
shipped at, i. 203 n. 2 
Talaga Bodas, volcano in Java, i. 204 
Talbot, P. Amaury, on self-mutilation, 

i. 270 n. 1 
Talismans, crowns and wreaths as, ii. 

242 sq. 

Tamarisk, sacred to Osiris, ii. no sq. 
Tami, the, of German New Guinea, their 

theory of earthquakes, i. 198 
Tamil temples, dancing-girls in, i. 61 
Tamirads, diviners, i. 42 
Tammuz, i. 6 sqq. ; equivalent to Adonis, 
6 n. 1 ; his worship of Sumerian 
origin, 7 sq. \ meaning of the name, 
8 ; " true son of the deep water," 8, 
246 ; laments for, 9 sq. ; the month 
of, 10 . l f 230 ; mourned for at Jeru- 
salem, ii, 17, 20; as a corn-spirit, 
230 ; his bones ground in a mill and 
scattered to the wind, 230 

and Ishtar, i. 8 sq. 

Tangkul Nagas of Assam, their annual 

festival of the dead, ii. 57 sqq. 
Tanjore, dancing-girls at, i. 61 
Tantalus murders his son Pelops, i. 


Tark, Tarku, Trok, Troku, syllables m 
names of Cilician priests, i. 144 1 
perhaps the name of a Hittite deity, 
147 ; perhaps the name of the god of 
Olba, 148. 165 

Tarkimos, priest of Corycian Zeus, L 

Tarkondimotos, name of two Cilician 

kings, i. 145 ** 

Tarkuaris, priest of Corycian Zeus, L 
145 ; priestly king of Olba, 145 

Tarkuditnme or Tarkuwassimi, name on 
Hittite seal, i. 145 . 2 

Tarkumbios, priest of Corycian Zeus, i, 

Tarsus, climate and fertility of, i. 118 ; 

school of philosophy at, 1x8 ; Sandan 

and Baal at, 142 sq., 161 ; priesthood 

of Hercules at, 143 ; Fortune of the 

City on coins of, 164 ; divine triad at, 


, the Baal of, i. 117 sqq. t 162 if. 

, Sandan of, i. 124 sqq. 

Tat or tatu pillar. See Ded pillar 
Tate, H. R., on serpent-worship, i. 85 
Tattoo-marks of priests, i. 74 n.* 
Taurians of the Crimea, their use of the 

heads of prisoners, L 294 
Taurobolium in the rites of Cybcle, i 

274 sqq. ; or Tauropolium, 275 *.* 
Taurus mountains, i 120 
Tears of Isis thought to swell the Nile, ii 

33; rain thought to be the tears of 

gods, 33 

Tegea, tombstones at, i. 87 
Telamon, father of Teucer, i. 145 
Tell-el-Amarna letters, i. 16 .*, 21 *.*, 

135 n. the new capital of King Amefto* 

phis IV., ii. 123 n. 1 , 124, 125 
Tdl Taannek (Taanach }, burial of 

children in jars at, i. 109 n. 1 
Tempe, the Vale of, ii. 240 
Temple-tombs of kings, ii. 161 J?., 167 

sq., i70Jy?. 174* *94 *? 
Temples of dead kings, ii. 161 jf. f 167 

sq., ijQsqq., *94-*y- 
Tenggereese of Java sacrifice to volcano, 

i. 220 
Tentyra (Denderah), temple of Osiris at, 

ii. 86 
Ternate, the sultan of, his sacrifice of 

human victims to a volcano, i 320 
Tertullian on the fasts of Isis and Cybete, 

i. 302 n. 4 ; on the date of the Cruci- 
fixion, 306 .* 
Teshub or Teshup, name of Hittite god, 

i. 135 ., 148 * 

Teso, the, of Central Africa, medfcme. 
men dressed as women among the, ii 

Testicles of rams in toe rites of Attis, L 

369 *.; of butt used in rites of Cybefe 

and Attis, 276 
Tet, New Year festival is Annam, i. 


Tft pillar. See Itet pffitr 
Teti, king of Egypt, ii 5 
Teucer, said to have instituted human 

sacrifice, i 146 ^^ 
. and Ajax f names of priestly kft 

i 144 H+> 


Teucer, son of Tarkuaris, priestly king of 

Olba, i. 151, 157 
, son of Telamon, founds Salamis in 

Cyprus, i. 145 

, son of Zenophanes, high-priest of 

Olbian Zeus, i. 151 
Teucrids, dynasty at Salamis in Cyprus, 

i. 145 

Teutonic year reckoned from October ist, 

ii. 8 1 

Thargelion, an Attic month, ii. 239 n. 1 
Theal, G. McCall, on the worship of 
ancestors among the Bantus, ii. 176 sq. 
Theban priests, their determination of 

the solar year, ii. 26 
Thebes in Boeotia, stone lion at, i. 184 

n. 9 ; festival of the Laurel-bearing at, 

ii. 241 
i in Egypt, temple of Ammon at, i. 

72 ; the Memnonium at, ii 35 n. \ the 

Valley of the Kings at, 90 
Theias, a Syrian king, i. 43 . 4 ; father 

of Adonis, 55 . 4 

Thefem late in human history, ii. 41 
Theocracy in the Pelew Islands, tendency 

to, ii. 208 
Theopompus on the names of the seasons, 

ii. 41 
Thera, worship of the Mother of the 

Gods in, i. 280 n. 1 
Thermopylae, the Spartans at, i. 197 n. 1 ; 

the hot springs of, 210 sqq. 
Thesmophoria, i. 43 . 4 ; sacrifice to 

serpents at die, 88 ; pine-cones at the, 

278 ; fast of the women at the, ii. 40 

Thetis and her infant son, i. 180 
Thirty years, the Sed festival held nomi- 
nally at intervals of, ii. 151 
Thonga, Bantu tribe of South Africa, 
their belief in serpents as reincarna- 
tions of the dead, i. 82 ; their presenta- 
tion of infants to the moon, ii. 144 sq. ; 
worship of the dead among the, 180 

chiefs buried secretly, ii. 104 sq. 

Thongs, legends as to new settlements 

enclosed by, ii. 249 sq. 
Thoth, Egyptian god of wisdom, ii. 7, 

17 ; teaches Isis a spell to restore the 

dead to life, 8 ; restores the eye of 

Horus, 17 
Thoth, the first month of the Egyptian 

year, il 36, 93 sqq. 
Thracian villages, custom at Carnival in, 

iL 99 sq, 

Threshing corn by oxen, ii. 45 
Threshold, burial of infants under the, i. 

Thucydides on military music, L 196 .* ; 
on the sailing of the fleet for Syracuse, 
226 . 4 

Qfaiv distinguished from 

3 I6 fc. 1 

Thunder and lightning, sacrifices to, L 
157; the Syrian, Assyrian, Baby- 
lonian, and Hittite god of, 163 sq. 

god of the Hittites, with a bull and 

an axe as his emblems, i. 134 sqq. 

totem, i. 101 

Thunderbolt as emblem of Hittite god, 
i. 134, 136 ; as divine emblem, 163 

and ears of corn, emblem of god 

Hadad, i. 163 
Thurston, Edgar, on dancing-girls in 

India, i. 62 

Thyatira, hero Tyrimnus at, i. 183 n. 
Thymbria, sanctuary of Charon at, i. 

Tiberius, the Emperor, persecuted the 

Egyptian religion, ii. 95 n. 1 
Tibullus, on the rising of Sir i us, ii. 34 n. 1 
Tiele, C. P. , on rock-hewn sculptures at 
Boghaz-Keui, i. 140 n. lt t on the 
death of Saracus, 174 . 2 ; on Isis, ii. 
115 ; on the nature of Osiris, 126 n. 2 
Tiger's ghost, deceiving a, ii. 263 
Tiglath-Pileser III., king of Assyria, i. 

14, 16, 163 .* 
Tii, Egyptian queen, mother of Amen- 

ophis IV., ii. 123 n. 1 
Tille, A., on beginning of Teutonic 

winter, ii. 81 . 3 
Timber felled in the waning of the 

moon, ii. 133, 135^., 137 
Timor, theory of earthquakes in, i. 197 
Timotheus, on the death of Attis, i. 

264 n. 4 
Tiru-kalli-kundram, dancing-girls at, L 


Titane, shrine of Aesculapius at, i. 81 
Tobolbel, in the Pelew Islands, ii. 266 
Tod. J., on rites of goddess Gouri, i. 

241 sq. 

Todas of the Neilgherry Hills, custom as 

to the pollution of death observed by 

sacred dairyman among the, ii. 228 

Togo-land, West Africa, the Ewe people 

of, i. 282 . a ; the Ho tribe of, ii. 104 

Tomb of Midas, i. 286 ; of Hyacinth, 

Tombs of the kings of Uganda, ii. 168 

sq. ; of kings sacred, 194 sq. 
Tongans, their theory of an earthquake, 

i. 200 sq. 

Tongue of sacrificial ox cut out, ii. 251 J?. 
Tonquin, annual festival of the dead in, 

Iii. 62 
Tophet, at Jerusalem, L 177 
Toradjas of Central Celebes, their theory 

of rain, ii. 33 

Torres Straits Islands, worship of animal- 
shaped heroes in the, i. 139 *. 1 ; 
I death-dances in the, ii. 53 *. 2 



Totetnism in Kiaba, ii. 173, 174 w. 1 
Toulon, Midsummer custom at, i. 

248 sq. 

Town, charm to protect a, ii. 249 sqq. 
Tozer, H. F., on Mount Argaeus, i. 

Traditions of kings torn in pieces, 11. 

97 5 3- 

Tralles in Lydia, i. 38 
Transference of Egyptian festivals from 

one month to the preceding month, ii. 


Transformation of men into women, 
attempted, in obedience to dreams, ii. 
255 W- J * women into men, 
attempted, 255 n. 1 

Transition from mother-kin to father- 
kin, ii. 261 .* 

Transylvania, harvest customs among 
the Roumanians and Saxons of, i. 

237 sq. 

Travancore, dancing-girls in, i. 63 sqq. 
Treason, old English punishment of, i. 

290 . 2 

Tree decked with bracelets, anklets, etc. , 
i. 240 ; soul of a, in a bird, ii. in n. 1 

of life in Eden, i. 186 . 4 

bearers (Dcndrophori) in the wor- 
ship of Cybele and Attis, i. 266 , 2 , 


spirit, Osiris as a, ii. 107 sqq. 

Trees, spirit-children awaiting birth in, 
i. ioo ; sacrificial victims hung on, 
146; represented on the monuments 
of Osiris, ii. no sq. ; felled in the 
waning of the moon, 133, 135 sq., 
13? ' growing near the graves of dead 
kings revered, 162, 164 

and rocks, Greek belief as to birth 

from, i. 107 n. 1 

Triad, divine, at Tarsus, i. 171 

Trident, emblem of Hittite thunder-god, 
i- i34 J 3S ! emblem of Indian deity, 

Tristram, H. B., on date of the corn- 
reaping in Palestine, i. 232 n. 

Trobriands, the, i. 84 

Trokoarbasis, priest of Corycian Zeus, i. 

Trokombigremis, priest of Corycian 

Zeus, i. 145 , _ . . .. 

"True of speech," epithet of Osiris, 11. 

Trumpets, blowing of, in the ntes of 

Attis, i. 268 

Tshi-speaking peoples of the Gold Coast, 
dedicated men and women among the, 
i. 69 sq. ; ordeal of chastity among 
the, 115 . 2 I their annual festival of 
the dead, ii. 66 .* 
TuUlustrium at Rome, i. 268 *.* 
Fulava. sacred prostitution in, i. 63 

Tully River, in Queensland, belief of the 
natives as to conception without sexual 
intercourse, i. 102 

Turn of Heliopolis, an Egyptian sun- 
god, ii. 123 

Turner, George, on sacred stones, i. 
108 n. 1 

'Turquoise, Mistress of," at Sinai, i. 

Tusayan Indians, their custom at plant- 

ing, i. 239 

Tuscany, volcanic district of, i. 208 ft. 1 
Tusser, Thomas, on planting peas and 

beans, ii. 134 
Twin, the navel-string of the King of 

Uganda called his Twin, ii. 147 
Twins, precautions taken by women at 

the graves of, i. 93 n. 1 
Two-headed deity, i. 165 sq. 
Tyana, Hittite monument at, L 122 n. 1 
Tybi, an Egyptian month, ii. 93 . 9 
Tylon or Tylus, a Lydian hero, i 183 ; 

his death and resurrection, 186 sq. 
Tylor, Sir Edward B., on fossil bones 

as a source of myths, i. 157 sq. ; on 

names for father and mother, 281 
Typhon slays Hercules, tin; Corycifta 

cave of, 155 sq. ; his battle with the 

gods, 193, 194 

and Zeus, battle of, L 156 sq. 

, or Set, the brother of Osiris, ii 6 ; 

murders Osiris, 7 sq., and mangles 

his body, 10 ; interpreted as the stm, 

129. See also Set 
Tyre, Melcarth at, i. 16 ; burning of 

Melcarth at, no sq. ; festival of "the 

awakening of Hercules" at, in; 

king of, his walk on stones of fire, 

114 sq. 
, kings of, their divinity, i. 16 ; as 

priests of Astarte, 26 
Tyriranus, axe-bearing hero at Thyattra, 

i. 183*. 

Tyrol, feast of All Souls in the, H. 73 J? . 
Tyropoeon,' ravine at Jerusalem, i. 17$ 

Ucayali River, the Conibos of the, L 
198; their greetings to the new moon, 

ii. 142 

Uganda, the country of the Bagnnda, H. 
167 ; temples of the dead kings of, 
167, 168 sq., 170 sg$. i human sacri- 
fices offered to prolong the lives oC the 
kings of, 223 w . S* */ Bagaad* 

Uncle, dead, worshipped, ii. 175 

, maternal, in marriage ceremonies 

in India, i. 62 *. J 

Uncleanness caused by contact wttfa 
dead, ii. 227 sqq. 

Unconquemi Sun, Mfcbra j 

the, i 3H 
Unis. king of Egypt, U. 5 


Unkulunkulu, "the Old -Old- one," the 

first man in the traditions of the Zulus, 

ii. 182 
Unnefer, "tjie Good Being," a title of 

Osiris, ii. 12 
" Unspoken water" in marriage rites, ii. 

345 sq. 
Upsala, human sacrifices in the holy 

grove at, i. 289 sq., ii. 220 ; the reign 

of Frey at, 100 

Up-uat, Egyptian jackal-god, ii. 154 
Uranus castrated by Cronus, i. 283 
Uri-melech or Adorn -melech, king of 

Byblus, i. 14 
Usirniri, temple of, at Busiris, ii. 151 

Valesius, on the standard Egyptian cubit, 
ii. 217 rt. 1 

Vallabha, an Indian sect, men assimil- 
ated to women in the, ii. 254 

Valley of Hinnom, sacrifices to Moloch 
in the, i. 178 

of the Kings at Thebes, ii. 90 

of Poison, in Java, i. 203 sq. 
Vancouver Island, the Ahts of, ii. 139 n. 1 
Vapours, worship of mephitic, i. 203 


Varro, on the marriage of the Roman 
gods, ii. 230 sq., 236 n. 1 ; his deriva 
tion of Dialis from Jove, 230 . a ; 
on Salacia, 233 ; on Fauna or the 
Good Goddess, 234 n. 4 
Vase-painting of Croesus on the pyre, i. 

Vatican, worship of Cybele and Attis on 

the site of the, i. 275 sq. 
Vegetable and animal life associated in 

primitive mind, i. 5 

Vegetation, mythical theory of the growth 
and decay of, i. 3 sqq. ; annual decay 
and revival of, represented dramatic- 
ally in the rites of Adonis, 227 sqq. ; 
gardens of Adonis charms to promote 
the growth of, 236 sq. , 239 ; Mid- 
summer fires and couples in relation 
to, 250 sq, ; Attis as a god of, 277 
sqq. ; Osiris as a god of, ii. 112, 126, 

"Veins of the Nile," near Philae, ii. 40 
Venus, the planet, identified with Astarte, 
i 258, it 35 

and Vulcan, ii. 231 

Venus, the bearded, in Cyprus, ii. 259 #.* 
Vernal festival of Adonis, L 226 
VerraU t A. W., on the Anthesteria, i. 

35 - 1 

Vertumnus and Pomona, ii. 235 .' 
Vestal Virgin, mother of Romulus and 

Remus, ii. 235 
Virgins, rule as to their election, 

ii. 244 
Vicarious sacrifices for kings, ii. 220 sq. 

Vicarious and nutritive types of sacrifice, 

ii. 226 

Victims, sacrificial, hung on trees, i. 146 
Victoria Nyanza Lake, Mukasa the god 

of the, ii. 257 
Victory, temple of, on the Palatine Hill 

at Rome, i. 265 
Viehe, Rev. G., on the worship of the 

dead among the Herero, ii. 187 n. 1 
Vine, the cultivation of, introduced by 

Osiris, ii. 7, 112 
Vintage festival, Oschophoria, at Athens, 

ii. 258 n. 9 

rites at Athens, ii. 238 

Violets sprung from the blood of Attis, 

i. 267 

Virbius or Dianus at Nemi, i. 45 
Virgin, the Heavenly, mother of the 

Sun, i. 303 

birth of Perseus, i. 302 .* 

' Mary and Isis, ii. 118 sq. 
Mother, the Phrygian Mother 

Goddess as a, i. 281 
mothers, tales of, i. 264 ; of gods 

and heroes, 107 
Virginity, sacrifice of, i. 60 ; recovered 

by bathing in a spring, 280 
Virgins supposed to conceive through 

eating certain food, i. 96 
Virility, sacrifice of, in the rites of Attis 
and Astarte, i. 268 sq. , 270 sq. ; other 
cases of, 270 . a 
Vitrolles, bathing at Midsummer at, L 

Viza, in Thrace, Carnival custom at, ii. 

Volcanic region of Cappadocia, L 189 


religion, i. 188 sqq. 

Volcanoes, the worship of, i. 216 sqq. ; 
human victims thrown into, 2x9 sq. 

Vosges, the Upper, rule as to the shear- 
ing of sheep in, ii. 134 .* 

Mountains, feast of All Souls in 

the, ii. 69 

Votiaks of Russia, annual festivals of the 
dead among the, ii. 76 sq. 

Voyage in boats of papyrus in the rites 
of Osiris, ii. 88 

Vulcan, the fire-god, father of Caeculus, 

i- 235 
, the husband of Maia or Majestas, 

ii. 332 sq, ; his Flamen, 932 
and Venus, ii. 231 

Wabisa, Bantu tribe of Rhodesia, ii. 174 
Wabondei, of Eastern Africa, their belief 
in serpents as reincarnations of the 
dead, i. 82 ; their rule as to the 
cutting of posts for building, ii. 137 
Wachsmuth, C., on Easter ceremonies 
in the Greek Church, i. 254 



Wagogo, the, of German East Africa, 
their ceremony at the new moon, ii. 


Wahehe, a Bantu tribe of German East 
Africa, the worship of the dead among 
the, ii. 188 sqq, ; their belief in a 

supreme god Nguruhe, 188 sq. 
Wailing of women for Adonis, i. 224 
Wajagga of German East Africa, their 

way of appeasing ghosts of suicides, i. 

293 . s ; their human sacrifices at 

irrigation, ii. 38 
Wales, All Souls' Day in, ii. 79 
Wallachia, harvest custom in, i. 237 
Wamara, a worshipful dead king, ii. 174 
Waning of the moon, theories to account 

for the, ii. 130 ; time for felling 

timber, 135 sqq. 
War, sacrifice of a blind bull before 

going to, ii. 250 $q. 
dance of king before the ghosts of 

his ancestors, ii. 192 
Warner, Mr., on Caffre ideas about 

lightning, ii. 177 n. 1 
Warramunga of Central Australia, their 

belief in the reincarnation of the dead, 

i. 100 ; their tradition of purification 

by fire, 180 . a 
Warts supposed to be affected by the 

moon, ii. 149 
Water thrown on the last corn cut, a 

rain-charm, i. 237 sq, ; marvellous 

properties attributed to, at Midsummer 

(the festival of St. John), 246 sqq. ; 

prophetic, drunk on St. John's Eve, 


of Life, i. 9 

Waterbrash, a Huzul cure for, ii. 149 sq. 
Wave accompanying earthquake, i. 202 

Weaning of chilcjren, belief as to the, 

in Angus, ii. 148 
Weavers, caste of, i 62 
Weeks, Rev. J. H., on inconsistency of 

savage thought, i. 5 n. ; on the names 

for the supreme god among many 

tribes of Africa, ii. 186 .* 
Wellalaick, festival of the dead among 

the Letts, ii. 74 
Wen-Ammon, Egyptian traveller, i 14, 

75 *? 
West, Oriental religions in the, i. 298 

Westermann, D., on the worship of 

Nyakang among the Shilluks, ii. 165 
Whalers, their bodies cut up and used as 

charms, ii. 106 
Wheat forced for festival, i 243, 244, 

and barley, the cultivation of, 
introduced by Osiris, ii 7 ; discovered 
by Isis, 116 

Whip made of human skin used in cere- 

monies for the prolongation of tht 

king's life, ii. 224, 225 
Whitby, All Souls' Day at. ii. 79 
White, Rev. G. E., on dermhes of A*k 

Minor, i. 170 
White, Miss Rachel Evelyn {Mr*. Wedd), 

on the position of women in ancient 

Egypt, ii. 2x4 w, 1 , 216 , J 
White the colour of Upper Egypt, i. 

21 n. 1 

- birds, souls of dead kings incaramt* 
in, ii. 162 

- bull, soul of a dead king incarnate 
in a, ii. 164 

- -Crown of Upper Egypt, H 20, 31 
n. 1 ; worn by Osiris, 87 

- roses dyed red by the blood of 
Aphrodite, i. 226 

Whydah, King of, his worship of 

serpents, i. 67 ; serpents fed at, 86 n, 1 
Wicked after death, fate of the, in 

Egyptian religion, ii, 14 
Widow-burning in Greece, i, 177 .* 
Widowed Flamen, the, ii 227 iff, 
Wiederaann, Professor A., on Wen- 

Ammon, i 76 *.* ; on the Egyptian 

name of Isis, ii. 50 > 
Wigtownshire, harvest custom in, i 237 

. 4 
Wiirabaio tribe of South -Eastern Aus- 

tralia, their medicine-men, i 75 a,* 
Wilkinson, Sir J. G., on corn-stuffed 

effigies of Osiris, ii 91 *.* 
Wilson, C. T., and R. W. Felkia, on 

the worship of the dead kings of 

Uganda, ii 173 .* 
Winckler, H. , bis excavations at Boghma- 

Keui, i 125 *., 135 . 
Winged deities, i. 165 sq. 

- disc as divine emblem, i* 132 
Winnowing-fans, ashes of human victims 

scattered by, ii. 97, 106 
Winter called Cronus, ii 41 

- sleep of the god, ii 41 

- solstice reckoned the Nativity of the 
Sun, i. 303 ; Egyptian ceremony at 
the, ii 50 

Wissowa, Professor G., on introduction 
of Phrygian rites at Rome, i. 967 *. ; 
on Orcus, ii 231 ,*; on Ops and 
Census, 233 . e ; on the marriage of 
the Roman gods, 236 at. 1 

Wives of dead kings sacrificed at their 
tombs, ii 168 

Wives, human, of gods, i 61 jf?. M. 
207 ; in Western Ask and Egypt, 70 

Wiwa chiefs reincarnated in pythom, it 

Wofait, Australian tribe, tbek belief m 
conception without cohabitation, L 



Woman feeding serpent in Greek art, i. 
87 jy. ; as inspired prophetess of a god, 
ii. 257 

Woman's dress assumed by men to 
deceive dangerous spirits, ii. 263 

Women pass through holed stones as 
cure for barrenness, i. 36, with . 4 ; 
impregnated by dead saints, 78 sq. ; 
impregnated by serpents, 80 sqq. \ 
fear to be impregnated by ghosts, 93 ; 
impregnated by the flower of the 
banana, 93 ; excluded from sacrifices 
to Hercules, 113 n. l \ their high 
importance in the social system of the 
Pelew Islanders, ii. 205 sqq. ; the culti- 
vation of the staple food in the hands 
of women (Pelew Islands), 206 sq. ; 
their social importance increased by 
the combined influence of mother-kin 
and landed property, 209 ; their legal 
superiority to men in ancient Egypt, 
214 ; impregnated by fire, 235 ; 
priests dressed as, 253 sqq. ; dressed 
as men, 255 n. 1 , 257 ; excluded from 
sacrifices to Hercules, 258 . 8 ; dressed 
as men at marriage, 262 sqq. ; dressed 
as men at circumcision, 263. See 
also Barrenness, Childless, and Sacred 

as prophetesses inspired by dead 
chiefs, ii. 192 sq. ; inspired by gods, 

, living, regarded as the wives of 

dead kings, ii. 191, 192 ; reputed the 
wives of gods, 207 
Women's hair, sacrifice of, i. 38 
Wororu, man supposed to cause con- 
ception in women without sexual 
intercourse, i. 105 

Worship of ancestral spirits among the 
Bantu tribes of Africa, ii. 174 sqq. ; 
among the Khasis of Assam, 203 
of the dead perhaps fused with the 
propitiation of the corn-spirit, i. 233 
sqq. ; among the Bantu tribes, ii. 174 

of dead kings and chiefs in Africa, 

ii. 160 sqq. ; among the Barotse, 194 
sq. ; an important element in African 
religion, 195 sq. 

of hot springs, i. 206 sqq. 

of mephitic vapours, i. 203 sqq. 
of volcanoes, i. 216 sqq. 
Worshippers of Osiris forbidden to injure 

fruit-trees and to stop up wells, ii. 

" Wounds between the arms " of Hebrew 

prophets, i. 74 . 4 
*' of the Naaman," Arab name for 

the scarlet anemone, i. 226 
Wreaths as amulets, ii. 242 sq. 

Wllnsch, R.. on the AnthesUria, i. 235 
rt. 1 ; on modern survivals of festivals 
of Adonis, 246 ; on Easter ceremonies 
in the Greek church, 254 . 

Wyse, W., ii. 35 .*, 51 n. 1 

Xenophanes of Colophon on the Egyptian 
rites of mourning for gods, ii. 42, 43 

Yam, island of Torres Straits, heroes 
worshipped in animal forms in, L 
139 n. 1 

Yap, one of the Caroline Islands, prosti- 
tution of unmarried girls in, ii. 265 sq. 

Yarilo, a personification of vegetation, i. 

Year, length of the solar, determined by 

the Theban priests, ii. 26 
, the fixed Alexandrian, ii. 28, 49, 

, the Celtic, reckoned from November 

ist, ii. 8 1 
, the Egyptian, a vague year, not 

corrected by intercalation, ii. 24 sq. 
of God, a Sothic period, ii. 36 n. 9 ; 

began with the rising of Sinus, 35 

, the old Iranian, ii. 67 

, the Julian, ii. 28 

, the Teutonic, reckoned from 

October zst, ii. 8x 
Yehar-baal, king of Byblus, i. 14 
Yehaw-melech, king of Byblus, i. 14 
Ynglings, a Norse family, descended from 

Frey, ii. 100 
Yombe, a Bantu tribe of Northern 

Rhodesia, their sacrifice of first-fruits 

to the dead, ii. 191 
Youth restored by the witch Medea, i. 

1 80 sq. 
Yucatan, calendar of the Indians of, ii 

29 n. 

Yukon River in Alaska, ii. 51 
Yungman tribe of Australia, their belief 

as to the birth of children, i. 101 
Yuruks, pastoral people of Cilicia, i. 

150 ** 

Zambesi, the Barotse of the, ii. 193 
Zas, name of priest of Corycian Zeus, i. 

Zechariah, on the mourning of or for 

Hadadrimmon, i. 15 .* ; on wounds 

of prophet, 74 . 4 
Zekar-baal, king of Byblus, i. 14 
Zend-Avesta, on the Fravashis, ii. 67 

Zenjirli in Syria, Hittite sculptures at, i. 

134 ; statue of horned god at, 163 
Zer, old Egyptian king, his true Hcrus 

name Khent, ii. 20 n. 1 , 154 

Zerka, river in Moab, i. 215 n. 1 



Zeus, god of Tarsus assimilated to, i. 
119, 143 ; Cilician deity assimilated 
to, 144 sqq., 148, 152; the flower of, 
186, 187 ; identified with Attis, 282 ; 
castrates his father Cronus, 383 ; the 
father of dew, ii. 137; the Saviour of the 
City, at Magnesia on the Maeander, 238 

, Corycian, priests of, i. 145, 155 ; 

temple of, 155 

and Hecate at Stratonicea in Caria, 

i. 270 . 2 , 227 

, Labrandeus, the Carian, i. 183 

, Olbian, ruins of his temple at 

Olba, i. 151 ; his cave or chasm, 158 
sq. \ his priest Teucer, 159 ; a god of 
fertility, 159 sqq. 

, Olybrian, i. 167 n. 1 

- Papas, L 281 n.' 2 

Zeus and Typhon, battle of, \. 156 *f. t 

1 60 

Zimmern, H., on Mylitta, i. 37 .* 

Zimri. king of Israel, burns himself, i 
174 n. z , 176 

Zion, Mount, traditionally identified wfcfc 
Mount Moriah, ii. 219 n. 1 

Zoroastrian fire-worship in Cappadocia, 
i. 191 

Zulu medicine-men or diviners, i. 74 n\ 
7< ; their charm to fertilize fields, ii 
io2 sq, 

Zulus, their belief in serpents as reincar- 
nations of the dead, i. 82, 84 ; their 
observation of the moon, it 134 $f , ; 
the worship of the dead among the, 
183 sqq. ; their sacrifice of a bull to 
prolong the life oC the king, aaa